Most meetings in Wellfleet are remote only, but some are held in person. Go to www.wellfleet-ma.gov/calendar and click on the meeting you want to watch, then follow the instructions on the agenda.
Thursday, Dec. 21
- Commission on Disabilities, 3 p.m.
- Nauset Regional Middle School Advisory Council, 3:30 p.m., Room 269, NRMS
- Local Housing Partnership, 4 p.m.
- Energy and Climate Action Committee, 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 27
- Natural Resources Advisory Board, 11 a.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 3
- Community Preservation Committee, 1 p.m., Town Hall basement conference room & Zoom
About Those Last Miles
Comcast is finally going to get some competition in Wellfleet.
Town Administrator Rich Waldo told the select board on Dec. 5 that Verizon asked for a letter of support for a grant application to the Mass. Broadband Institute.
The institute announced a new grant program this year to expand broadband service to unserved and underserved places. Cable, internet, and cellular service advisory committee chair Josh Yeston told the select board that the Broadband Infrastructure Gap Networks Grant aims to give internet providers incentives to expand their fiber optic networks into rural areas.
According to Yeston, the FCC has a national map detailing the level of service. Verizon’s sudden interest in Wellfleet is in response to the map, which shows many unserved homes here, Yeston said.
Waldo said that the grant would give priority to areas that do not have any broadband service, which he estimated includes 40 to 60 homes in Wellfleet. According to the FCC map, Lieutenant Island is the most underserved area.
Currently, Comcast is the only provider offering broadband service in Wellfleet.
In 2020, Comcast announced it would begin to consider serving areas in Truro, Wellfleet, and Eastham with a density of 15 houses per mile, an improvement over the previous 25-houses-per-mile requirement. But the company’s director of public relations told the Independent at the time that residents would need to conduct their own surveys because the company did not know which areas were underserved.
According to a letter of support drafted by chair Barbara Carboni, Comcast is also also seeking funds from the Broadband Institute’s grant program.
“Broadband continues to be integral to our community’s needs and Comcast is the best company to provide the ‘last mile’ connections,” Carboni wrote.
But during its meeting, the board welcomed the possibility of competition. “I and a lot of people I know are not entirely happy with one player in town,” vice chair John Wolf said. —Sam Pollak