Sumner joins in effort to get Google fiber optic cabling


SUMNER — In reply to a request from Community Concepts and other organizations, town officials Tuesday night approved a draft letter in support of getting Google to provide high-speed fiber optic cable to the area.

The Internet search company is planning to build and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country, according to its Web site. It will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to, with one-gigabit-per-second, fiber-to-the-home connections. It said it will offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000, and potentially up to 500,000 people.

Selectmen’s secretary Cyndy Norton, who drafted the letter, said there are many places in Sumner who are just a few hundred feet from Oxford Networks digital subscriber line service, but the residents can’t get it.

In a pitch for town residents, Norton said Oxford Networks already has conduits in place to string additional fiber optic cable, which could save Google millions of dollars. This could be a unique collaboration between public and private sectors, the letter says.

 In other news, Town Clerk Susan Runes reported that Tri-Town Rescue officer Norm St. Pierre said talks were in the works between the selectmen in West Paris and Tri-Town to compile the costs for towns who enter into an interlocal agreement with the ambulance service. The costs would include auditing, accounting and lawyers fees.

 Selectman Glen Hinkley reported that the Road Committee had viewed a new computer program from the state that would make evaluating roads much easier. The program costs $40 and the state would be available by phone to answer all questions as they arose. The committee bought the program.

 The decision made at the last board meeting to reroof the town office with shingles was reversed in favor of metal. Runes said some volunteers and a local carpenter were lined up, but there was still a need for a roof crew, a land crew and a lunch crew. Volunteers are urged to call the town office

 The board also approved an application for an adult business license. When the adult business ordinance was adopted several years ago, there was no license attached. This application completes the ordinance. According to Runes, no one has expressed an interest in such a business.