Broadband Update: New VTel Tower and Fiber Optic Project
The new VTel tower under construction at the top of Streeter Hill Road will be on-line by mid-November. The new tower plus the two existing VTel towers are expected to provide a cell and wireless internet signal to 80-90% of all homes and roads in town. VTel is working on roaming agreements with AT&T and T-Mobile (Sprint).
Fiber Optic Project
Whitingham received an unsolicited draft proposal to build a fiber optic system to provide high speed internet to all homes using the poles owned by Jacksonville Electric Company and Green Mountain Power. The Selectboard and the Economic Development Group are evaluating the proposal from Matrix. http://www.matrixdg.com/
* Fiber to a home or business increases property values by ~3% so it is a worthwhile investment for all property owners.
* Fiber is the fastest, most reliable way to provide internet and phone service to homes and businesses.
* Fiber allows streaming of TV and movie content at a lower cost than satellite TV.
* Matrix fiber cost of $95/month is less than Consolidated Internet, Consolidated phone and satellite TV combined.
* Fiber is so important to the future educational attainment of our students.
* Fiber will enable more people to work from home, increasing job opportunities.
* Matrix is willing to finance ~70% of the total construction cost. The $95/month fee includes the cost of Matrix operating the fiber system.
* Jacksonville Electric Co. will obtain new revenue by renting space on the company's poles to Matrix. (Green Mountain Power will also get pole rental income).
* For the Matrix project to be viable, Whitingham will need 60-70% of the homes and businesses to commit in advance.
* If the town is interested in fiber optic internet services the town will put all aspects out to bid.