News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 17, 2019
Public meeting on internet set in Penobscot
Axiom reps, town to discuss community tech plan

by Anne Berleant

A community technology plan created by Machias-based Axiom Technologies will be the focus of a public meeting on January 23 at 6 p.m. at town hall.

The study was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Island Institute and $10,000 in matching funds from the town, and includes an analysis of a community broadband survey that 154 residents returned. Most residents who responded indicated frustration with current internet speeds and connection.

“One of the most alarming and urgent situations is the number of respondents who answered that their school age children were unable to complete their homework using the internet at home,” the report states.

The report also discusses fiber optics, wireless and options for working with the town’s current provider, Consolidated Communications.

The upcoming public meeting will include discussion on three options: wait for Consolidated Communications to make improvements; create a town-owned and operated fiber system to each residence; or plan improvements over time with unserved parts of town.

Consultants from Axiom Technologies and the Penobscot Internet Committee will be at the meeting to answer questions and discuss how to best move forward.