UPDATE (8/21/16) — The Hawley Selectboard will again be considering disaffiliation with WiredWest at its meeting on Tuesday, August 23. Download Selectboard Agenda HERE.
UPDATE (8/5/16) — At the July 27 Selectboard meeting, it was decided to delay action on WiredWest’s request for Hawley to disaffiliate until Delegate Lark Thwing could determine from the WiredWest board whether an alternative to outright separation was possible. That alternative might involve some kind of Associate status whereby Hawley would not have voting power but would still have the option of participating in WiredWest programs, if any, at a later date.
For more background on this development, read on.
THERE’S AN EMAIL GOING AROUND (7/24/16) from Hawley’s WiredWest Delegate Lark Thwing regarding an administrative action the Town is contemplating concerning its membership in WiredWest. As Lark states in his email, “. . . the Selectboard will be discussing and voting on Hawley’s withdrawal from WiredWest.”
By way of background, WiredWest has been going through a process of reorganization ever since MBI declared in early 2016 that it would not accept the regional organization’s cooperative ownership structure. A number of Towns have since decided to go their own way in pursuing MBI funding for their Broadband projects. As a result, WiredWest has been having quorum problems at some of its meetings, and is faced with the prospect of reducing the size of its membership in order to function as a legal entity.
Since Hawley is one of the Towns that is clearly going in the direction of Wireless rather than Fiber-to-the-Home, it only makes sense that it would be one of those Towns that would be asked to leave, as happened about two weeks ago.
Lark explains in his email: “. . . as you may know from the newspapers, every town interested in Broadband must submit a Readiness Assessment Form to MBI. We have prepared ours and will present it to MBI on Monday morning at town hall. It is for WIRELESS, not fiber. So at this point it makes no sense to be a voting member of WiredWest . . .
“We are part of, and host to, a group called the Hybrid-Wireless Working Group (HWWG). We have been meeting for about 8 months and share ideas, each member’s progress and how we can benefit from working as a coalition. There are about 6-8 active towns pursuing wireless at this time.
“Those of you who paid $49 to WiredWest may want to get your money back. If we withdraw, WiredWest will send everyone of you who paid $49 a letter or email about the procedure for getting your money back,” which Lark has been assured will be done.
“Once we have our wireless plan fully approved by MBI, DOR and the Governor’s Office, you will be hearing much more from us, hopefully in September.”
Meanwhile, Lark encourages all Hawleyites “to attend and be part of the decision . . .” regarding WiredWest .”