November 19, 2020REGION — Brown's Ridge Road in Wolfeboro, Heron Place and the Village Corner area of Ossipee will have cable TV and high speed Internet for the first time ever in the months ahead, thanks to the efforts of Wolfeboro Selectman Paul O'Brien in coordination with local lawmakers.
O'Brien introduced Melinda Kinney of Charter Communications, Inc. and Mike Timberlake, Field Engineer and construction team leader to the Board of Selectmen during the November 4 virtual meeting. He explained that the incumbent provider would have had a very expensive route to follow to continue their service into that area, so Charter Communications, ie. Spectrum Northeast, has stepped in the fill the longstanding void in service.
He said no CARES Act money was received by Charter, which serves around 59,000 customers within 56 communities, but it agreed to continue with the project nevertheless, subject to a non exclusive franchise agreement. The company is welcome to approach Wolfeboro to expand, he added.
The project, much lauded by the residents, who brought the need for service forward in a petition, will bring service to close to 54 homes within an area just under four miles. The permitting process is underway, after which construction will begin in an expected four to six week time frame.
Christian Boudman, owner of a visual effects company in the Warren Sands area since 2010, spoke highly of the anticipated service, as he described the conditions over the years – first just dial up was offered, then DSL, and then monthly bills of around $500 a month for adequate Internet service to run his business. He thanked O'Brien, and shared that his son is doing online classes, a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and when his son is in class, Boudman and his wife have to stop what they are doing.
"I want to extend thanks to those on the front end of the effort, Paul," said Ed Bolton, who resides along Village Corner Road and uses Verizon and a satellite.
Bolton commented that Verizon has a data cap and slows down service. Kinney said there are no data caps with Spectrum. It also offers the advantage of the ability to stream multiple devices, improved quality, and more fluid and seamless service when uploading or downloading files, viewing movies, or participating in online gaming.
During the meeting, emails were coming in from the Village Corner Road area, thanking O'Brien and the town for its effort.
O'Brien, in turn, thanked Municipal Electric Department Director Barry Muccio, Town Manager Jim Pineo, former Planning Director Matt Sullivan, the staff of the town offices, Charter and residents for their efforts, saying, "This is what a good community does."
"Thanks for grabbing the bull by the horns and getting this done," said Chairman of the Board Brad Harriman.