Monday December 31, 2012

DOVER -- The Selectboard has been trying to figure out a good way to get Internet service at the landfill for employees.

Air cards, which plug into the back of computers, may be the best choice for now.

"The cost for air cards is limited in amount and will be effective immediately," said Selectboard member Victoria Capitani at the meeting on Dec. 18.

Dover Economic Development Specialist Ken Black presented information about the air cards to the Selectboard, voicing support for the air cards rather than other options for the time being. He had been in charge of finding the best way to go about establishing an Internet connection at the landfill premises.

The board voted unanimously to approve the air cards for the most immediate Internet connectivity.

It was discussed at the meeting that setting up wiring for a connection would cost the town $3,500 to provide the service at the landfill on Dover Road. That quote was from Cliff Duncan, who provides Internet service as well as cable television service in town.

Black told the board that Fairpoint Communications, another company that provides Internet and telephone service in the area, had not given him any estimates for the project.

Black then talked about air cards that could be bought for a temporary connection to the Internet. He also mentioned purchasing a mobile hotspot, but said it "may not be cost effective.


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Mobile hotspots provide areas with WiFi and usually require a wireless modem. It is popular with some businesses in Dover such as the Valley View Saloon.

The air cards would cost $50 a month to maintain a connection to the Internet, which is the price for two of them. Black recommended trying it out for at least 30 days. The air cards would connect to a nearby cell tower.

"When a more permanent option is available, then we’ll look into that," Black concluded.

Selectboard member Tom Baltrus was concerned about the data limit for the air cards and Internet service in general. It was brought up that the landfill attendant or Black should know what the limit is, because many providers don’t tell customers when they’ve reached the limits.

Whomever is keeping track of the data usage at the landfill should then routinely check how much has been used every few days or so.

Another member, Buzzy Buswell thought that Duncan could set up the connection for free under the Public Service Board. However, it was brought up that Duncan would have to pay the power company if he were to establish connectivity at the landfill, because he would be using power lines owned by the power company. So, setting up a connection for the Internet at the landfill and the work required to do so could not be done entirely for free by Duncan.

Black said he’d be willing to discuss what can be done with Duncan, but the board agreed to purchase the air cards.

Having the air cards would mean that employees at the landfill would be able to use the Internet for their work and communication, without having to wait for installation or hardwiring.

For years, the Selectboard has been tackling ways it could get better Internet service and more coverage, as well as more bandwidth, to the town of Dover.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.