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Broadband (High Speed Internet / Phone / TV / Video)

PROJECT UPDATES

09/11/17 - Select Board signed and submitted an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E) to construct the network.

08/14/17 - Select Board voted to accept the EOHED funding when received.  This vote was required by the EOHED as proof that the Town acknowledges and agrees to utilize these funds in the manner in which they were intended.

08/07/17 - Select Board approved and submitted the EOHED grant application.

06/21/17 - Select Board receives EOHED grant application

06/17/17 - Requested Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) grant application.

06/16/17 - After considerable and thoughtful deliberations, the Goshen Select Board in a public meeting held on Friday, June 16th at the Town Offices, voted unanimously to move forward with the construction of a town-owned telecommunications network.

The approved motion reads as follows:

Motion to vote in favor of proceeding with a town owned network with consideration to the following conditions:

  1. We pursue both a 15 year and a  20 year term and if 20 year is the preferred method of borrowing, this would be accomplished either via 20 1-year state house notes [These will require special legislation voted on by the Town and then passed by the Massachusetts legislature & signed by the Governor] – OR – Massachusetts Qualified Bonds [this option has not yet been made available] –OR- another 20 year method not yet known but that would need approval of the Select Board.
  2. The Select Board acknowledges that this borrowing will have a material and possibly substantial impact on the timing of Capital purchases and the availability of monies for capital purchases for the duration of the borrowing for this project.
  3. We need to set up an appropriate structure for management of the Goshen MLP including an MLP board.
  4. The Select Board will pursue additional fees for use by the Town to cover what the Select Board deems as appropriate expenses.
  5. The Select Board will utilize a good portion any excess revenues returned to the town to pay down the debt resulting from the borrowing.
The Town of Goshen will now submit a grant request to the Office Executive and Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) in order to secure $770,000 in funding that's been set aside by the state for the design and construction of the network.  A portion of these funds will be used to survey over 1,300 utility poles in town - the first phase of the process.  Over the coming months, the Town of Goshen expects to enter into an agreement with Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E) to design, build and light up the network in 18-24 months.

INFORMATIONAL TOWN MEETING MATERIALS

The Town of Goshen currently has two proposals it is seriously considering to bring broadband to our community.  The first proposal is a Town owned fiber optic network that could be built by Westfield Gas & Electric (not yet decided) and operated by WiredWest.  The second proposal would have Comcast build a hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network paid for in large part by incentives provided to Comcast by the State.

The choice ultimately sits with the Goshen Select Board. 

The results of the preference ballots turned in at the 4/29 presentation are as follows:

45 votes for town owned network;

17 votes for private partner network with Comcast;

1 vote for other.


Click here for more information on the WiredWest plan.

Listed below are materials that are being made available to help us start to understand the choices before us.  Materials will be added as they become available so check back often for updates.

The best place to start is the Plan Comparison file.  There, you will get a comprehensive overview of the two proposals that will be discussed at Saturday's presentation.
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