Just a heads up that the Town of Woodstock Selectboard meets this evening at the Town Hall with telecommunications front and center.

The Board will be hosting Vermont’s Telecommunications “Queen”, Karen Marshall of ConnectVT,  and it will also be hearing from representatives of VTel.  The Board will also discuss a Fairpoint Communications letter.

We’re not sure whether these will be simple PR presentations made by the visiting parties to show they are reaching out to “underserved” communities with limited access to high-speed internet. Or, we wonder whether the private and public entities will be here to announce that Woodstock will get offers to become well-connected once and for all. Or maybe they will just be visiting Woodstock to answer questions.

A lot of discussion about fiber-optic lines versus copper wire lines and the rates of speed at which they can conduct bits of information. We’re sure that our friends from East-Central Fiber Community Network will be in the house asking for financial support to put in fiber optic lines here.  Because they are tenacious in their mission.  While they have gotten the implicit backing from 23 towns for their project, the Towns have not actually put their money where their words are. So, it has become a bit of a frustrating situation for the ECFiber guys.

We think that rather than frittering away 10k here and there to match government funding for other lesser projects, the Town of Woodstock Selectboard should make a bold move and simply move our town into the 21st century by pledging the 500K needed to get ourselves fiber-optically “speedy”.  Make it a special agenda item at Town Meeting.

If Woodstock Early Birds are going to be seeing an increase in tax rates (which this plan would surely require), why not make it for something bold and forward-thinking that might contribute to the future economic health of this community?

Stop the ECFiber whining (We’re sorry, but that is what it has become) and ask the Woodstock Selectboard to make an actual financial commitment to fiber-optic lines rather than its empty pledge to support ECFiber in its less than spectacular attempts to raise money in this community.

We sit in these meetings enough to see all the excitement when yet another government grant becomes available that “We just can’t lose”  which actually requires us, as Woodstock taxpayers,  to pony up the 10 percent or 20 percent of cost. Expensive over time.

While any improvement can certainly be justified, we – in the meantime –  continue to limp along as an at-this-point “backward” community with only some buildings, businesses or homes “up-to-speed” to provide the connectivity needed to get our various jobs — personal and professional/current and future – done.

For more information about ConnectVT, posted this article in June updating the current telecommunications situation.


Also at Town of Woodstock Selectboard meeting tonight:

A presentation by Woodstock Elementary School’s Karen White concerning the Elementary School Grounds.

The Board of Sewer Commissioners takes up the topic of the Elm Street Bridge Sewer Line — In Capital Letters! (Remember, Tropical Storm Irene did a number on various drinking water and sewer lines in Woodstock….)



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