Wilton selectboard contributes to broadband Internet project
The Wilton selectboard voted to support an initiative to bring better broadband Internet options to Franklin County. WILTON – The selectboard approved appropriating $1,653 toward a county-wide project that seeks to increase broadband internet accessibility for residents. The cost of the project is being divided between towns based on the number of miles those conducting the research will cover in each one. The funds contributed by Wilton will come out of the Tax Increment Financing account.
Charles Woodworth of the Opportunity Center of North Franklin County presented the plan to board members, which includes an in-depth study of what is now available for internet throughout the region, as well as a report on any gaps found in service. The Opportunity Center of North Franklin County, the Greater Franklin Development Council, the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments and the Rangeley Economic Opportunity Committee are working together to head up the project, which Woodworth said is being enthusiastically supported by every town they have visited.
“Every town is wild about this idea. Right now we are behind the times. Just like electricity in the thirties. We need to be a part of the times,” Woodworth said.
He went on to emphasize that being able to access high speed, reliable internet is not only appealing to potential new residents, but is also the cornerstone of economic development.
“Broadband is a hot topic right now. It’s a good time for us to be active,” Woodworth said. Organizers of the project have hired consultants from J.W. Sewall out of Old Town to conduct the research. Woodworth said the company is excited to be a part of the project and has a goal of completing the job two months ahead of schedule- by November.
In other news, the Selectboard shared enthusiasm with Town Manager Rhonda Irish about the weekend’s upcoming 35th annual Blueberry Festival. The festival will begin on Friday with crafts and food vendors as well as various yard sales.