Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Fiber Optic Comes to Leyden - A Last Mile Town in Western Massachusetts

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know we live in one of the most rural counties in Massachusetts. For years, I struggled with a dial-up connection internet connection. I started this blog in 2006. It was definitely a labor of love because it took forever to upload a photo or do a post. Eventually I got something called an air card which gave me a bit faster connection. At the Leyden Town Hall, they eventually installed some kind of high speed service. I spent many hours sitting in my car uploading blog posts and photos. Eventually I was allowed to sit inside the Town Hall and use their wifi. 

This went on for many many years. And then miraculously via the power of State Senator Stan Rosenberg's office, in 2013, we got DSL service. You can read all about this here

Since 2013, the world has changed. Internet speeds got faster and faster. More services were done exclusively on-line. Rural towns in Massachusetts and in states throughout the US were being left behind. And then the Pandemic hit. The digital divide became more and more obvious. Julia's college courses moved on-line. She constantly was bumped off or missed Zoom classes because of low speed and poor interconnectedness. The State of Massachusetts thankfully took the initiative to make available 5G high speed internet at many of the small Last Mile towns to help students and other residents. We went back to sitting in the car to upload photos, update the website, and Julia to work on her homework and watch classes. 

Our story is familiar to so many residents of rural towns. Happily, we have had an excellent outcome. After many years of work by tireless committee members, fiber optic broadband is being installed to homes who want it. The fiber optic cables began being installed in the spring. A couple weeks ago, they were attached to our home. Miracle of miracle -- I never thought I would see the day. At first we could only access the internet from the one room in the house where the wire was installed. Last week, a smart tech guy at Whip City Fiber helped me figure out that we needed a wireless mesh system to move the signal past the enormous stone and brick chimney to other parts of the house. It's a one time investment even if it was unexpected.

We are up and running now and we're feeling like we are part of the modern world. Thank you to all the Leyden Broadband Committee Members who have worked on this for years and years and years. Our farmhouse and other residents of our road were lucky to be in the first wave of installations. If you live in Leyden and have ordered service, hang on. It's coming and you will be happy.

8 comments:

Robin said...

I am so glad for you! Especially with the pandemic, hopefully, it will make your life and your family's life easier.

Cheryl said...

I can relate! We live in the small rural town of Blandford and are waiting patiently for our broadband service. I just signed us up and Whip City Fiber will be dropping lines to homes soon. I can't wait! it has been tough during the pandemic for my husband to work from home and for kids in our school district to participate in virtual learning.

Kristin Nicholas said...

It definitely will. Not as fast as cities but still an amazing improvement.

Kristin Nicholas said...

Hi Cheryl. Hang on!! Hopefully you will have it soon. I got the phone service too and not sure I should have. Not working yet but we don’t get many calls. May just get rid of the landline.

Kathy said...

That's wonderful news for you, and a pleasure to read about community/government engagement that has worked. Bravo!

Stephanie Woerner said...

Kristin, This is so fantastic! Fast internet makes a huge difference to getting this sort of work done.

Stephanie

Kristin Nicholas said...

Community and government and engagement really do work.

Kristin Nicholas said...

It really will. No excuses now!

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