Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fiber Optic to the home...BTV

Let me begin by saying how exciting it is to live in a city with the foresight and initiative to undertake a task of this magnitude. Fiber optic to the home is a great network, and providing telephone, Internet and television as a municipal service is the best idea since Bell made that first call. Read about the current state of the network at 802 Online.

Having heard of this being started in the Mid-West by some small city or other several years ago, I was excited when I heard that my city was thinking of asking the voters if they should go ahead with the plan to bring this to Burlington. The answer was yes, and the plan got rolling. I was waiting for the day the cable went by my house so we could sign up. The only high speed Internet we could get was Adelphia for many years, and then Comcast after their purchase of Adelphia. Service with Adelphia was extremely poor to put it mildly, for both television and Internet, and of course we had to have Verizon phone service. With Comcast, service got measurably better, but the cost was extremely high to have Comcast cable TV and Verizon phone service. The cost savings for all three services with BTV is remarkable. There were delays in the completion of the infrastructure, but we got online with BTV last October.

There have been occasions for using the support provided, and this weekend, after an ice storm of two days, we really had an Internet problem. Here is where the localization of services really pays off. LOCAL service from LOCAL people. We know where they work, and we can call and talk to them. If we had to, we could go down there and actually see them. They don't work out of a sweat shop in Bangladesh, or a bank of phones in South Carolina or California. They work a few blocks down the hill and are part of our community. I am thankful for the support folks at BTV, and I applaud their efforts to make sure we can get the services! Our router seems to be in a group of several problems of the same kind which have been experienced in the last couple days. BTV is sending out an engineer to the homes to check and solve these problems. TRY and get that kind of service from a huge faceless corporation.

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