MOUNT DESERT — Residents here can help identify areas of the town that lack broadband Internet access and share their ideas for the design of a network to eliminate those gaps at a public meeting Tuesday, July 14, at 5:30 p.m. at Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor.
The board of selectmen Monday night authorized the town manager to sign a contract with Tilson Technology Management Inc. to conduct “a telecom asset inventory to understand the current state of broadband access and underlying infrastructure in Mount Desert.”
According to the contract, Tilson will “hold discussions with the Summer Residents Association and other designated third party stakeholders to understand their current satisfaction with broadband access and future goals for the school and surrounding community.”
The company will then “define a new community standard for broadband availability … based on what stakeholders need and want” and “develop a high level network design and cost estimate to implement a solution that meets the community standard.”
The town will pay Tilson $22,000 for the study and network design. Voters at town meeting in May authorized that expenditure as part of the 2015-2016 municipal budget.
The town’s economic development committee and consultant Jackie Hewitt see the expansion of broadband Internet access throughout the town as a way to encourage and support business development.