East Central Vermont Telecommunications District (ECFiber)
October 8, 2019 – Minutes
Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 7:05 p.m.
Irv called the roll and established that a quorum of member towns was present. See attached attendance record for details.
2.Introduction of Guests
Chris Recchia (ValleyNet), Stan Williams (ValleyNet), Timothy O’Dell (Corinth)
3.Changes to Agenda
Move the Operations Update to the front of the agenda. Defer the Tunbridge Update until next month.
5.Accept September 10, 2019 Minutes
Motion to accept the minutes of the September 10, 2019 meeting. (M/Graham, S/Childs) – passed
6.Executive Committee Report
Irv reported that the Executive Committee spent a good deal of time discussing the proposed 2020 budget that will be covered later in this meeting. The Committee also had a short discussion about the sale of the People’s Bank Corporate Trust Department to US Bank and Marty, as Treasurer, said the impact to us will be minimal and limited to the to the Treasurer’s interactions with the Trustee.
7.Government Relations Update
Irv re-iterated the on-going concerns with the details of the implementation of the make-ready and rapid-response provisions of H.513.
8.2020 Draft Budget
Stan presented a summary of the 2020 Draft Budget and plans for a small rate adjustment on January1st. These adjustments feature lowering the Basic service rate, raising phone service rates and raising higher-level service rates. We would like to make the Basic Internet rate more affordable but still be able to raise ARPU by about $4/month to better meet our debt service. The phone service will be upgraded to include a SPAM call blocker and voice mail services at no additional cost and the higher- level Internet service speeds will be increased. We are planning a November closing for the next financing tranche. Motion to accept the 2020 Draft Budget (M/Flinn, S/Parrott) – passed
9.Construction and Operations Update
Chris Recchia reports that we are at 3988 customers and we hope to reach 4000 very soon. He summarized the construction details that were included in the Board Packet and discussed plans to attend the PUC hearing on the 29th, where both ECFiber and ValleyNet will have comments. Our new Customer Service and Sales Representative will take over all of the social media and web-related stuff. Lastly, he fielded several questions about communicating construction and operational status periodically to the Governing Board and providing more detailed reporting.
10.Communications Committee (Tunbridge Fair)
Tunbridge Fair summary deferred until next month.
11.Getting Video and Phone Services over the Internet
The Board discussed the need to provide customers with basic info about content available over the Internet and the consensus seems to be that there is a need for an FAQ on our web site with a title such as “Things you can do with your new ECFiber Internet connection.” Some Board members objected to the term “cord-cutting” so it was agreed that we should avoid that term when possible.
Motion to adjourn at 9:00 p.m. (M/Childs, S/Graham) – passed
Note: The next Governing Board meeting is November 12, 2019.