Arrowsic Broadband Project News
News, events and resources for the Arrowsic Broadband project.
UPDATE: Arrowsic approves warrant accepting USDA Award by a vote of 98 to 5
On 12/9, Arrowsic Select Board chair Sukey Heard received a letter from USDA offering $1.2 million grant/loan combination that will fund building fiber-based internet service to all residences.
Here are key points …
- The proposed system will make internet speeds of 100 Mbps available to every household.
- The financial terms are excellent; there is no more economical way to get this system built. Most likely, the system will generate more than enough cash to service the USDA loan (at subscriber rates similar or lower than we pay now) – so the risk to Town tax rate is small.
- The Town has until early February (unless extended) to formally accept USDA’s offer.
- This means we will vote at a Special Town Meeting probably in mid January. Some important details still need to be worked out, including how Arrowsic will manage the contracts and the buildout work.
- Given a majority “Yes” vote, construction theoretically starts within 180 days.
- Georgetown broadband supporters plan to apply in the next USDA round, which opens Jan 31.
So the main thing is to work toward a big turnout and a “Yes” vote in mid-January.
Although we may already be sure that modern internet is a good thing, as a town we need to be confident of taking on this responsibility and loan obligation.So in the meantime there are financial calculations to be fine-tuned and organizing to be done.
We will provide more details and will start planning outreach and gathering residents’ concerns. In particular, the program has some flexibility in terms of how it’s all financed – so comments will definitely be invited.
Arrowsic Broadband Task Force
January 15 Special Town Informational Meeting, Town Hall
January 18, 2020 Special informational meeting, Town Hall
January 22, 2020 Special Town Meeting 7 PM