Islesboro residents voted on May 30th to move forward with their municipal network plan. According to the Islesboro Press Herald, approximately 75 percent of voters attending the annual town meeting approved a motion to spend $206,830 on an engineering study and contractor search. Approximately 200 residents attended.
As we reported in March, the community has been working since 2012 on a plan for a fiber network to improve connectivity for businesses and the almost 600 residents on the island. The infrastructure will belong to the Town of Isleboro; GWI will offer services via the network. The entire project estimate is $2.5 - $3 million to be funded with a municipal bond.
Many of the island's residents now obtain Internet access via DSL from Fairpoint, which has been described as spotty and unreliable, for $20 - $70 per month. GWI already operates on the island, offering wireless service.
This is the first in a several step approval process:
Town officials plan to hold a second public vote in the fall on 20-year municipal bond for up to $3 million that would fund the network’s construction, [Selectman Arch Gillies] said.
Completion is scheduled for the end of 2016.
“We’re a community intent on keeping up with the world, and maybe getting ahead of the world,” [Gilles] said.