Mass Broadband Coalition Meeting tomorrow at 4:00 P.M.

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Robert Espindola

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Dec 13, 2023, 10:37:27 AM12/13/23
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Good morning all,

Just a reminder that, with the Holidays coming up, we decided to hold our Mass Broadband Coalition meeting earlier this month.

It will be tomorrow at 4:00 P.M.

You should already have received a copy of the link from Chris McClure but I have included it again here for your convenience, along with a draft agenda.  If you would like to speak about anything else, please advise.

Agenda

1) Discuss Mass Broadband Coalition structure.  Consider setting up a more formal structure (i.e. an Executive Committee) that would allow for voting and advocacy on behalf of the organization./ the communities we represent.

2)  Discuss comments on Mass Broadband Institute Internet for All  plan - general discussion and review comments made by Bourne Select Board.(hoping to have Bourne representatives available to discuss)


3)  Discuss Municipal Light Plant Cooperative (David Cole - Westport to lead the discussion

4)   Discuss requests received for support from Internet Service Providers.   Discuss the Pros and cons of supporting this type of request.

5)  Round Table - Anything else members would like to discuss.


Thank you,

Bob



Join Zoom Meeting
https://watertown-ma.zoom.us/j/86482543609?pwd=yYOYxW8NCimWI2rZpF7PNcag4zGYBE.1

Meeting ID: 864 8254 3609
Passcode: 369146

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Sean Gonsalves

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Dec 14, 2023, 5:33:49 PM12/14/23
to Robert Espindola, mem...@ma-bc.org
MBC members,

One last thing I mean to share with the group

Here is a link to NTIA website on what Massachusetts has submitted for its BEAD plan. Each state must submit a 5 year plan, then an Initial Proposal and then it's Volume 2 proposal in order to get its BEAD allocation. It's a requirement of the infrastructure law and each state's plan is posted on NTIA's website. This document will give you the clearest sense of what the state is thinking about infrastructure investment, the challenge process etc



Sean Gonsalves
Associate Director for Communications
Community Broadband Networks Initiative 
Institute for Local Self Reliance


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Sean Gonsalves

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Dec 14, 2023, 5:37:36 PM12/14/23
to Robert Espindola, mem...@ma-bc.org
The state's BEAD proposal does have a link in it for unserved and underserved locations but the link I don't find very helpful as it brings you to a document that lists a bunch of numbers that maybe a GIS person can make sense of ... 


Sean Gonsalves
Associate Director for Communications
Community Broadband Networks Initiative 
Institute for Local Self Reliance

Shawn Gross

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Dec 14, 2023, 5:54:11 PM12/14/23
to Sean Gonsalves, Robert Espindola, mem...@ma-bc.org
What is the link Sean?  Also, to all, sorry I was unable to make the meeting today.  I was actually trying to complete our comments to MBI. The team from Bourne did an incredible job with their comments on the BEAD plan.

Shawn

Sean Gonsalves

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Dec 14, 2023, 5:58:06 PM12/14/23
to Shawn Gross, Robert Espindola, mem...@ma-bc.org



Sean Gonsalves
Associate Director for Communications
Community Broadband Networks Initiative 
Institute for Local Self Reliance

Shawn Gross

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Dec 14, 2023, 6:02:44 PM12/14/23
to Sean Gonsalves, Robert Espindola, mem...@ma-bc.org
Hi Sean,

I meant the link that contains the confusing document that maybe a GIS person can make sense of?  

Shawn

Sean Gonsalves

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Dec 14, 2023, 6:05:11 PM12/14/23
to Shawn Gross, Robert Espindola, mem...@ma-bc.org

Sean Gonsalves
Associate Director for Communications
Community Broadband Networks Initiative 
Institute for Local Self Reliance

Robert Espindola

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Dec 15, 2023, 9:33:01 AM12/15/23
to B, saube...@masstech.org, Shawn Gross, Sean Gonsalves, kal...@chelseama.gov, mem...@ma-bc.org
Thank you everyone for attending the Mass Broadband Coalition meeting yesterday.

It was a great meeting.

I wanted to follow up with a link to the Vermont model for Communication Union Districts.(CUD's) that have served as a springboard for broadband development in that state.

The link below to FAQ might be helpful to understand the topic - perhaps something to advocate for here in Massachusetts?

One key point is FAQ point #8.  I am not clear how they manage that but I would imagine having something like that in place in Massachusetts would help communities that are split on broadband respond to that very important question about liability.

image.png


On Thu, Dec 14, 2023 at 6:40 PM B <mccarter...@gmail.com> wrote:
Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:
"Please provide the BEAD and GAP grant underserved locations list for the State of Massachusetts"

In an effort to help you locate the records, here is what we know about them. 

These links refrence locaiton ID but there is no key to explain what those locations ID are in refrence to. Please provide the related instructions on how to use these ID or preferablly an address list, cordinates , gis file or the like.

Additionally the list are refrenced in the MBI Bead draft documents. A link probably should have been included there, but was an oversite.   "Massachusetts BEAD Initial Proposal Volume I and II"  https://broadband.masstech.org/sites/default/files/2023-11/DRAFT%20BEAD%20Initial%20Proposal%20Draft%2011-13-23_Version%20for%20Public%20Comment.pdf
This document acknowledged the existence of CSV files with the location IDs of Unserved and Underserved Locations (page 9). 
"MA Unserved Locations_10.24.2023" and "MA Underserved Locations_10.24.2023" 

These files should be made public while researching this request. 

Please waive all fees since this information is of widespread use to town goverments and please provide in 10 days. Please provide in electronic format via email. 

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Brian McCarter

B

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Dec 15, 2023, 9:55:18 AM12/15/23
to Robert Espindola, saube...@masstech.org, Shawn Gross, Sean Gonsalves, kal...@chelseama.gov, mem...@ma-bc.org
So anything can be done with large dollar debt, you just might not want it based on interest pricing. In Mass we appear to have more flexibility on how to do this and could see lower debt costs.  VT appears strictly non recourse.

I would need a debt lawyer to sign off, but I have sat through many meetings with them and watched rights being waived by willing and sophisticated parties to meet whatever conditions were needed.   You could structure the debt as having no recourse to the town despite the entity having liability for the debts of the debts of the MLP. It would be much more expensive to justify the risk and harder to obtain. These size loans are made to more sophisticated parties and often restricted to institutional owners so it can be done when disclosed up front that certain expected rights are being waived.  The bankers would get a credit opinion of the debt from a rating agency. 

Indirect obligations of a government are far easier to do. The credit people walk over to their government analyst to check the rating on that government as a starting point and can roughly figure out how much more debt they can take on with a certain amount of assets being added. There is potentially a wider pool of buyers with the indirect guarantee.

The end of the day the taxpayers pay for this, directly through taxes, or indirectly through prices of service from the first entity or the second one after a bankruptcy. 



 
Brian McCarter
McCarter...@Gmail.com



Paul Looney

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Jan 12, 2024, 12:59:13 PMJan 12
to Robert Espindola, mem...@ma-bc.org
Hi all, 
This is a little off topic but relevant too many in the group... there is a Municipal Fiber Grant Program that will assist municipalities across MA with the Construction /completion of a municipal fiber network. Application date starts March 11th, 2024 and closes April 12th, 2024. It's under the Division of local services on the Mass Gov site. I believe the grants are up to $100,000. 

As the fiber optic industry is currently in a lull... fiber prices and lead times have come down quite a bit. Hope this is helpful.    

Cheers, 
Paul


Paul Looney
Fiber Optic Manufacturer rep for:
EXFO, Sumitomo, Prysmian, Multilink, Condux, Maxcell, Mosdorfer





Scott Koerner

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Jan 12, 2024, 3:41:10 PMJan 12
to Robert Espindola, Paul Looney, mem...@ma-bc.org
Here is a link to the grant program...


-Scott

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Robert Espindola

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Jan 15, 2024, 10:42:12 PMJan 15
to Scott Koerner, Paul Looney, mem...@ma-bc.org
Thank you Sean and Paul, for drawing attention to this grant program.


Bob
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