Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Verizon Why Have You Forsaken Me?

This post is a Plea to Verizon (our local phone company) to provide broadband fast internet service as well as updated phone lines to my neighborhood on Glen Rd. in Leyden, MA.

It is a DAILY struggle with slow or non-accessible internet connections because of old phone lines and lack of service. We were told by the line workers who have to come out and fix the background buzz after every rain storm that they are the oldest lines in Franklin County.

One hour of work for most people on the internet will often take me 4 hours. Frankly, I can't take it anymore!!! Not only does it take me away from the Studio where I create my work but it has taken a toll on my eyesight. What is even more frustrating is that we are actually in the 2 mile radius that Verizon says it is limited to. I am so disappointed that we were passed over!
I ask Verizon now to reconsider its position about our location and provide the service that is not only desired but is desperately needed.

Photo by Alicia Hunsicker

My Neighbor Kristin Nicholas http://getting-stitched-on-the-farm.blogspot.com/
a knitwear designer, author, and illustrator is in the same situation as me. She wrote on her blog yesterday.....

Frankly, the podcast thing is rather frustrating for me. I know it is out there - along with t.v. shows you can get over the internet and the entire world of YouTube. I spent some days at my sister's house in eastern Mass earlier last week and a friend of my niece's was totally stunned that we didn't have high speed internet service. She thought everyone in the USA did.... She couldn't fathom how we could live without it. She wondered how Julia would get through school reports without it as she gets older.

Verizon (our phone company) did come through western Massachusetts and with government money upgraded the small hilltowns to DSL service. The really frustrating part of it was they didn't get to many homes. They made such a big deal about it - that they were helping all the communities out here. Truth be told, very little of the population has been served. We are too far from their box (we are 1.9 miles) and I am giving up hope of ever getting high speed internet service unless I go for satellite and my neighbors have nothing but trouble with it. It is frustrating and challenging. I'm even thinking of writing my State Senator. Never done that before - always a first time for everything.

Thank goodness the library I visit has DSL and I have a laptop now. Honestly, this dial-up is the reason I don't answer comments or comment on anyone else's blog, much less read many of them. It's sad but true - I know there is so much out there on the web but I just don't have the patience to sit and wait for pages to load nor do I have the time to. I could be sitting at a screen all day and night and I really don't want to do that. I do have a life that needs to be lived. Does anyone else share this frustration or are my hilltown neighbors and I the only ones?

Verizon responded to Kristens post.........

Phil Santoro said...
Hi, Kristin,Just want to post a couple of corrections to your post. First, Verizon completely funded its western MA broadband expansion with its own funds. No government money was spent. You may be thinking about the $40M that the Legislature set aside for broadband expansion. The government has not yet developed its plans for that project and how to spend the money. Second, Verizon's expansion project brought broadband to an average of 70 percent of residents and businesses in 24 western MA communities where broadband had never been available. While we don't report the number, it is in the thousands. We are the only company that has stepped up to the plate and invested millions to expand broadband in western MA. I sincerely wish we could bring it to 100 percent of every community. However, the technology limits the distance to about 2 miles from our equipment. If you would like me to double-check broadband availability to your home, just send me an e-mail and I would be happy to. It's philip.g.santoro@verizon.com.

Thanks for the opportunity to respond.
Phil SantoroVerizon Media Relations


Kristin Nicholas said...

Hi Alicia:

I talked w/ Bill Glabach and he's putting something in the newsletter about forming a committe for everyone who is underserved by Verizon. Want to be on???


Alicia Hunsicker said...

Hi Kristin,
Yes, I would be intersted in serving on that committe, If we don't advocate for ourselves then who will? In the end I hope it will help our situation.
Thanks for keeping me updated.

Nancy Natale said...

I feel for you guys. When we lived in Ashfield, we were in the same boat. We were just outside Verizon range and decided to get satellite because we couldn't stand dial-up. Although it was so expensive, satellite was OK as long as it wasn't snowing, windy or raining hard. Lack of internet service was one of the reasons we decided to move down into the Valley.

Verizon makes it sound like a big deal but there are so many more people not served by anyone that it's pitiful. I just hope that state and/or federal government will put some money in because it is essential.


Alicia Hunsicker said...

Thanks Nancy, I am seeing that this is such a big issue for us in the hill towns and your right in saying Verizon likes to put a spin on what they say they do.....every time I speak to someone associated with them its a different story. I do hope we can make a stir with this committee and no doubt we will be sending out press releases and writing our state reps.

Alicia Hunsicker's art is undeniably beautiful. She is an expert at extracting the highly-detailed textures and fibers of the human body, bringing them from darkness, into the light, with a technical precision that rivals any modern-day master.
David Aquino, Brattleboro Reformer