Broadband, 4G service might come to Fair Haven
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | February 11,2013
FAIR HAVEN — An effort by the state to bring cellphone reception and broadband Internet to some of the more rural towns in Vermont might be coming to Fair Haven.
Earlier this week, town officials discussed a proposal by Springfield-based VTel to construct a 90-foot pole near the town office building. The pole would also have a small utility box attached.
Through this pole, VTel would be providing broadband connection and 4G LTE to local customers. It is part of an expansion of the company’s telecommunications capabilities throughout Vermont.
According to Town Manager Herb Durfee, the telecommunications company is seeking a permanent 10-foot-by-10-foot easement near the town office building with a 15-foot right-of-way. He said in return the town would receive $25,000 — split into $5,000 for signing and $20,000 once construction starts — no strings attached.
“The specific side of the building, VTel still has to work out those gory details,” said Durfee on Thursday, adding that he will be working with the company to make sure any wiring to the pole is done underground if feasible.
He said an agreement with the telecommunications company has not been signed, though the Select Board authorized him to do so.
“I think it’s good for Fair Haven,” Durfee said.
The Vermont Public Service Board, which is in charge of regulating telecommunication projects in the state, would need to approve a certificate of public good for the tower. Durfee said at the local level, the project would not have to go through permitting or Act 250.
Select Board Chairman Christopher Cole said at the board’s meeting Tuesday that the new pole would be good for the community, especially considering that “cellphone coverage in the area is not the greatest.”
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said.
Durfee said the project is in the early stages, but he has a meeting with a VTel consultant later this week to talk about the details. He said as more information becomes available, he will let the town know.