Thanks to the urging of George Whitridge, the Castine Selectboard has officially approved the formation of a broadband committee which will be tasked with investigating whether and how Castine should approach improving broadband access in our town.
Unlike many towns around us, Castine already has two broadband providers, Spectrum and Fairpoint (for those of us on-neck). So why, then, are we looking at spending tax payer money to build a municipal broadband infrastructure? There are a few reasons. Namely:
- Avoid monopolistic price fixing. Our current providers have very little competition, which in a capitalist economy is required to balance the benefit of making private money.
- Own our own infrastructure. Spectrum does not provide fiber to the house, and caps download rates with premium prices on faster speeds. With municipal networks, subscribers can have a say over whether data is capped, and what the cost of service will be.
- Set ourselves as a model for other communities. When I ran for office I talked about making Castine “known” for forward thinking projects. Municipal broadband would advertise Castine as a town that’s thinking to the future, rather than just getting by for now.
If you would like to join the effort to research and potentially build out a municipal broadband service, please contact the town office at firstname.lastname@example.org