Planners to hold panel discussion on high-speed internet

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Aug 04, 2010 - 04:09 PM

The Gloucester County Planning Commission will meet at 7:30 o’clock tonight at the historic courthouse. A panel discussion will be held about high-speed internet service.

Planner Chris Perez said that the county’s planning department has been charged with investigating how Gloucester residents can access affordable high-speed internet through broadband service. Also, the department has been instructed by the Gloucester Board of Supervisors to create a set of standards and to suggest changes to the county ordinance to permit the necessary infrastructure to accommodate such uses.

Perez said that panelists will include:

—David Mower, partner of Northern Neck Wireless, whose expertise includes data poles and wireless systems;

—John Shaw, Mathews County planning director, who will discuss Mathews County’s approach to this technology;

—Clara Cieri Meier, regional planner for the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, of which Gloucester is a member jurisdiction. Her area of expertise is broadband authority and the "last mile" connections to service;

—George Bains, director of the Gloucester Department of Information Technology, whose expertise is in broadband technology, and;

—Ron Peaks, Gloucester’s director of codes compliance, who will describe what the county ordinance currently allows in telecommunication poles/towers.

A commission memorandum said that each presenter will describe his or her area expertise, followed by a discussion between panel members and the commission.

The public is invited to attend the meeting, planner Emily Gibson said, but a public hearing will not be held at that time. A public hearing may be scheduled later, she said, after the commission makes its recommendations about this type technology to the Gloucester supervisors.

The board has asked the commission to bring back recommendations about this technology and possibly ordinance changes by early next year, Gibson said.

For more information, call 693-0271.