Management Information and Communications Committee
March 2000 Meeting Minutes
DRAFT - 25 March 2000
John Bowe (Chairman), Kent Bowen (Vice-chairman), Bob Kochem (Clerk, recorder), Charles Smart,
Paul Santos, Bernard Ussher.
Other attendees: Scott Stratford (School Committee), Bonnie Hue and Kosta Javonic (Metricom)
Chenery Middle School, Small Community Room
27 March 2000, 7:30-9:00pm
1. Presentation by Metricom
Bonnie Hue and Kosta Javonic of Metricom did a presentation and Question/Answer session on the proposal before the
Belmont Selectmen to install a Ricochet wirelss network system within the Town. The Selectmen had requested review and
comment by the MICC.
Description of System - Subscribers would purchase a wireless modem. These would communicate with transceivers
located on light-post around Town. The transceivers would in turn relay back to a single Wireless Access Point (WAP)
mounted on a mast or in a high building. The WAP would interconnect via a landline (T1 or T3) back to a major Internet
provider such as MCI. The system would provide end users about twice the bandwidth obtainable with a 56K modem on a
dial-up telephone line. The wireless modem would cost about $375 and monthly fees are not yet set but would be expected
to be in the range of $60 to $100.
Considerations for the Town - There is essentially no cost to the Town for this. There is a slight amount of revenue to be
obtained. Metricom’s goal is to get transceivers and WAPs installed in all geographic areas, to make their service
attractive to mobile professionals.
Observations by MICC
There was some debate as to the rate of subscription to this service by Town residents. The service is not targeted at
It was recommended that in further discussions with the Town, Metricom should present a clear forecast of expected
user-costs for the system
Metricom should demonstrate that it is working closely with related Town departments such as the Light Department.
Metricom should be prepared to address concerns raised by citizens with regard to health issues, and aesthetic issues
of installed equipment
John Bowe will write a report summarizing the MICC’s comments on the system, and submit it to the
The MICC wishes to make it clear that it takes no position on health-related concerns of installing such a system.
That should be referred to other departments.
Appended is a handout from Metricom; a report submitted by Consulting Engineers regarding emission
considerations for the system. A separate file is available showing a map of proposed locations for installed
2. Web Site Evolution
John Bowe reported on having done a presentation to the Town Department heads on the Town Web Site. This was
favorably received. The Recreation Department will be first to move a large amount of material to the web site. They are
particularly interested in making a lot of forms available for download.
Bob Kochem took an action item to contact the Library about getting the Town website listed on some of the many
hardcopy handouts the Library provides at its lobby.
3. Home Internet Access
Selectman Will Brownsberger requested a short status report from the MICC on all options available to residents for
Internet access. John Bowe will prepare such a report. He will contact the Cable Committee for an update on the
4. Town Network Update
Installation continues, with fiber optic cable being laid from the Library up Goden Street towards the Burbank and
5. Meeting Schedules
There will not be an April Meeting due to conflicts with Town Meeting and Holidays. The next two meetings will be May
22nd and June 19th.