Technology Committee

Contact: Larry Gould, Technology Chair / Bill Hiller- Otis Fiber
Address: One North Main Road, Otis, MA 01253
Phone: (413) 207-4027
Email:  [email protected]
Broadband Questions  [email protected]
Meetings: Meetings are generally held the third Monday of each month at 5:00 pm and are posted on the bulletin board at the Town Hall and on the calendar.
Additional LinksMembersGeneral InformationAgendasMinutes
Larry GouldChair
Frank TolopkoMember
Bill HillerMember
Steve SchultzeMember

Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 5:00 pm and are posted on the bulletin board at the Town Hall and on the calendar. The Technology Committee was formed in 2007 to help address some of the technological needs of the Town of Otis. Such needs include Broadband service throughout the town, an official Town of Otis website, hardware and software needs of all departments and committees and any other items that are deemed appropriate for the committee to address.

BRINGING BROADBAND to the TOWN of OTIS The Town of Otis is determined to bring fiber broadband to each home in Otis. Currently (Fall 2015), we are looking at various options for doing so. So far, we have come up with a vision statement for this project:

Otis Broadband Plan

The Town of Otis recognizes that it has a unique one-time opportunity to partner with the Commonwealth’s Massachusetts Broadband Institute to develop a comprehensive, state of the art broadband network for the entire community. Without taking advantage of the MBI’s 1.8 million dollar subsidy, it is extremely unlikely that a network serving the entire community will ever be built. The Town believes that high-speed internet access has become a basic communications necessity and has reached a consensus that the Town should move forward in a timely way to secure the state funds while they are still available and to initiate the project which will take several years to complete. Therefore, the Select Board will be setting a date for a town meeting vote to borrow the town’s share of the project in the near future. The Massachusetts Broadband Institute oversaw the construction of the “middle mile” network to which the Otis network would be connected. Should the Town proceed with the project, the MBI will select firms to provide project management, design and construction services necessary to complete the build-out.

Town officials have reviewed MBI’s proposals and have met with MBI officials. They have also met with 1) Wired West, a cooperative that proposes to manage a regional network for area towns if the towns confer ownership of their networks to them and agree that WW will be responsible for operating the network and providing internet services, both of which functions WW will contract to outside vendors; 2) Fiber Connect, an area firm proposing a private build-out in one or two Otis neighborhoods, and; 3) the Town of Leverett’s Broadband Committee, that has successfully completed a town-wide fiber build-out with the MBI and is providing combined telephone and internet services to over 500 premises. Based on review of available information and meetings with the various parties mentioned above, the Select Board, Finance Board and Technology Committee have determined that there are two essential requirements for a broadband build-out in Otis;

  • Universal Access- The Town has determined that because every taxpayer will contributing to the completion of the project, the build-out must include a “drop” to every home. All homes will therefore see their value enhanced by the project regardless of whether the homeowner decides to subscribe to network services, so every taxpayer will benefit.
  • Local Control- The Town has determined it has the obligation to 1) be directly involved with MBI in the design and build-out of the network to ensure universal access and a high quality network; 2) maintain town ownership of a network built with local taxpayer dollars ; and 3) to be able to directly select both the firm that will operate and maintain the network and the firm that will provide internet services, thereby retaining the ability to replace on a timely basis vendors whose services may prove unsatisfactory.

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