Press coverage from the Town Line

This week’s edition of the Town Line includes a deep dive into the China Broadband Committee’s high speed internet initiative by journalist Eric Austin and a letter to the editor from Joann C. Austin.

What about Starlink?

On April 5th, there was a Spectrum outage. It started at 6pm, lasted until 8, and took out service to most of Maine:

During the outage, I remember being worried about what I would have done if this had happened during the day when I had work and my kids were doing remote school because of COVID 19. My cell phone doesn’t work inside most of my house and I was completely cut off from the world unless I stood in a specific place. I had been considering Starlink ever since I had heard about it, and this outage was the last excuse I needed to give it a try. I would be able to use it at least as a backup for Spectrum, if not switch over entirely. I could evaluate it and report my findings.

Fast forward 6 months to October 6th, and I finally got an email that my order for Starlink Beta was ready. I confirmed the order and thought about where to put it once it arrives. I have a lot of trees around, and I know it needs a view of the northern sky. This weekend, while I had my ladder out to clean my gutters, I used the Starlink app to check for obstructions.

Starlink for Android:
Starlink for iOS:

The app uses the camera and other sensors in your phone to look at the sky around you. Here is what I found:

The above screenshot is from the best location I found from my roof. The red area is where my trees will be blocking the Starlink dish from the satellites. The app predicts it will lose signal every 43 seconds. I took a 360 degree photo from this point so that everyone can see what it looks like from there.

When I first confirmed my order, the Starlink dish was expected to ship around October 29 to November 4th. Now it is expected to ship November 11th to 17th. Unfortunately, this won’t allow me to get it installed and get it evaluated before the election. However, I will remind everyone that the vote is only to authorize the Select Board to take out the bond if it is shown to not be economically feasible. If Starlink is a viable solution for everyone who needs broadband internet, the Select Board can scrap the project. If the question passes, I will make the commitment to keep posting updates about my experience with Starlink and keep track of the expenses I incur if I need to install a tower or anything to get it to operate better. I hope that my experiences with Starlink can help people decide if the municipal fiber project would be needed or not.

Link to all of my photos/screenshots from roof site search:

Voting has begun!

As of Monday, absentee ballots have been going out. Mine arrived today and I’m excited to fill it out. You still have time to request yours and get it before election day. Just go to the following link:
Just make sure you request it no later than Oct 18th this year. If you plan to mail it back, do so before Oct 26th. With USPS delays recently, it’s probably better to do it sooner rather than later. Of course you can always drop it off at the Town Office before 8pm on election day.
I hope to see a record turn out this year!


We at the committee have been working hard to make an informational flyer to send out to everyone in town. Good news! The select board approved our latest version of the flyer and it should be going to printing tomorrow and getting to mailboxes in the next few days. If you’d like to see a digital version, you can get it the pdf here.

Committee Meeting 2021-07-22

  • Agenda
  • We have a short amount of time to get the warrant article ready
    • Axiom/Hawkeye work won’t likely be finished in time for the article
      • Axiom is hoping they will be ready
    • Is there an option for a longer bond period to make the earlier years easier.
  • long discussion about financing (see recording)
  • discussed remote meeting changes
    • not sure if committee members will be able to continue meeting on zoom
  • Discussed china community days
  • discussed next week’s broadband and brownies on 07/29 @6:30pm
    • China Middle School Gym
    • after meeting for official business
      • final warrant recommendation
        • need warrant for applying for grants
    • lots of discussion about the food/drinks
  • scheduled meeting future meetings 08/05 @5pm zoom

Committee Meeting 7/15

  • Regional cooperation is difficult and is likely to slow the project down.
  • We are a fairly unique situation for the state as we are looking to install fiber optics while already having a cable provider in town.
  • Maine Community Foundation has grants available
  • Funding for the engineering survey is in limbo because it needs approved by the TIF committee and the committee is having scheduling issues
  • China Community days
    • Sat 8/7 10-3
    • boxes of “fiber”?
    • brochure?
  • Next community meeting?
    • July 29th 6:30PM
    • Middle School
    • food?
    • town line ad
      • broadband and brownies
      • motion to approve up to $100 for this ad – passed
  • 5 min video?
    • main points
      • how much will it cost
      • will it increase my taxes
  • update from Jamie noted that the TIF committee did approve the money
  • approved of new website
    • motion for funds of up to $100 for the website – passed