Technology Committee Meeting Minutes 07/23/2020

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Otis Technology Committee

Meeting Agenda

Online meeting


Thursday, July 23, 2020

5:00 pm

Pursuant to the Governor’s March 12, 2020 order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, Sec 18, this meeting is being held via remote participation to the greatest extent possible. Every effort is being made to ensure that any member of the public may access the meeting in real time, via technological means. Agendas will be amended to show the link and participation code to access the meeting no sooner than 48 hours before. Recordings and/or draft proceedings of the meeting will be available on our website as soon as possible.


  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes.

Minutes approved. 2.24.2020


  1. Discussion of Emergency Restoration Amendment to the Fiber Network Operations Agreement.

Discussed  potential agreement between Otis MLP and Westfield Gas and Electric for an emergency restoration contract. This would allow WGE to hire additional contractors at will to provide restoration of fiber services in the event of catastrophic damage. It was discussed that at this time we are still under construction and existing contracts will cover additional construction if necessary.  Tis will be reviewed after construction is completed


  1. Otis ConCom  tech discussion.

The Conservation Commission is looking for a system or systems to provide online access to documents and forms to be filled out and submitted.  A portal to submit documents related to Form 1 and NOI submissions that could then be accessed by the member to review prior to site visits and meetings.  Digital documents could make the distribution to members and submission process from engineers less cumbersome.  It was agreed to look into creating fillable forms for ConCom for the town website.


  1. Otis Fiber construction updates
    1. Question regarding seasonal rates for residents.  There are no provisions for seasonal rates at this time.  The cost per subscriber ($ 840.00) per year does not allow for either reduced rates or subscription cancellation without penalty.  The discussion will be ongoing as costs and revenue are seen after construction is complete.
    2. Otis Woodlands has voted to construct the fiber network inside the woodlands property. This will allow them to be a customers of Otis Fiber going forward.
    3. There are 770 active subscribers and 149 pending with 100 potential customers from the Woodlands.
    4. Design corrections, Work is ongoing to review the fiber design to capture missed properties and create a complete as built document.
    5. Make ready grant of $98,000.00 from the state to assist towns that are working on local fiber networks.  These funds offset a small percentage of the cost to upgrade poles, attachments and engineering paid to Verizon and Eversource  to start the Otis Fiber network.



  1. Old and New business.

Discussed options and direction for  Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system for municipal phones.  An upgrade to equipment and reduced cost will be studied.