Broadband Stories

The Broadband Committee thanks Petersham resident Troy Word for this
amazing video documenting the problems faced by those trying obtain Internet connectivity!

A hundred years ago Electricity comes to Petershamelectric3electric5


“In Petersham, where new DSL service is no longer available. Where reports of existing DSL service deterioration are coming in on almost a daily basis. Where new and existing homeowners are seeing their property values
being diminished, the measures of success for this project are many fold.Perhaps most symbolically for me, with MBI’s support, I will no longer drive by our Town Library in the evening and see a local family parked
in front of the building with a child in the front seat attempting to wirelessly complete an Internet-related homework assignment.  The creation of a rural broadband network is an amazingly complex technical undertaking. But in the end, it all comes down to this.”From the Petersham Broadband
Committee Chairman’s 6/16 monthly update

“In the year 2016, I hate to have to admit that at our Specialty Ophthalmic Veterinary practice here in Petersham, we have had to go out and purchase a new FAX machine so that we can send data back to the veterinarians who refer specialty cases to us for review. Our Verizon DSL
line is so poor that this was our only option.”Alan & Deb Bachrach, East Street

“I have publicly stated that ‘my current DSL connection is good enough for me.’   After carefully reviewing your website, and reading the stories of my fellow citizens here, I now understand the critcal need to vote yes at tonight’s town meeting.” Broadband Convert

“We intend to end wired telephone and  DSL Internet service in rura areas.”Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdams

“We would love to be able to offer dependable Broadband connectivity to our customers at the Country Store. As it is, our current  DSL line is so poor that our cash registers and data systems often crash during the day requiring us to constantly reboot our systems. The Middle Mile Fiber-Optic cable passes right by the front door of the Store……. so close and yet so frustratingly far away.”Ari, Country Store

When we moved from our home on Hardwick Road to our new home on North Main
Street, Verizon would not let us move our DSL line from one location to the other. It took weeks of almost daily “discussions” with Verizon’s call centers to final get to keep the former owners connection.
We both work from home a lot and that new DSL connection and phone service is so poor that I have attached a plugin electric timer on the extension cord powering  my router so that it shuts off and resets automatically numerous times a day….. just to keep a  barely minimum connection”alive”. SL Family, North Main Street

“My husband and I looked at a house that was for sale on Birch Drive in Petersham several months ago.  It was perfect, had everything that we were looking for in a house and fit our budget! The owner happened to be there
and we asked about Internet service.  He showed us that he had a slow but adequate DSL connection.  Several weeks later we passed papers on the house, but as so often happens, the last thing the owner did before moving
out was to call to disconnect the power and Verizon service. When we moved in and called to reconnect the services in our name, Verizon said that we could have the landline phone service back, but under no circumstances could we get an Internet connection.  We love the house, and the Town, but in today’s world not having internet
is like being without electricity 100 years ago. Please vote YES for Broadband on Dec 12th”.New Family, Birch drive

“I just spent $500.00 to install a HughesNet satellite dish at my home. Given satellite’s incredibly slow upload speeds, data caps and  poor quality in bad weather, I would have much preferred to have spent the same
$500.00 to connect to fiber optic Broadband”.Concerned Petersham Citizen

“My child’s teacher has told me how wonderful it is for the Petersham Center School, and its students, to be connected to the High-speed Fiber-optic Cable that passes through Town.  But she has also said how frustrating  it is that many of her student’s go home to a vastly slower internet, even though, in many cases, that same Fiber-Optic Cable passes right by the student’s house”.Resident, East Street

“We are a family of five on the far reaches of DSL on Popple Camp Road and we currently have to ration our limited DSL bandwidth.  My wife and I both work from home full time and that alone is enough to max our bandwidth limit.  Our three children are constantly online requiring bandwidth for school work as well as entertainment.  A simple thing such as Windows updates or a smartphone updating apps can grind our internet to a halt requiring me to log onto our router and find which device is updating. Then, using our home intercom system (me yelling) to tell the family member they need to shut down their computer or phone.  It is unbelievably
aggravating having to do this whilst on an important conference call for work.
We invested in a second DSL circuit but it is actually slower than the first and I am not able to run both at the same time as running either for longer than 12 to 14 hours causes the circuit to drop sync therefore
dropping all connections.  Being in IT I am connected to work servers and monitoring software 24/7 and trying to do this on Petersham’s DSL is borderline unworkable.                                                                                                                If our DSL becomes any slower or more unreliable we would actually have to start looking for a home in another town.  My wife’s office is in Wellesley and mine is in Milford and to choose between driving that distance and relocating it is really a no brainer.  It would be a shame after living in Petersham for almost 14 years to have to move for something like this.”The Gurganus Family

“My wife and I have fallen in love with a building lot in your beautiful town.  We are also looking at a not nearly as nice location in Hardwick which has Broadband availability.  We have lived in many locations
throughout our careers but when we build this time it will be our “forever retirement home”.   Your Town Meeting vote on December 12th will, in so many ways, determine our family’s future. Good Luck.”JE, Cambridge MA

“I wrote this for the Petersham Montessori Board, because we are constantly hearing complaints from the staff about how hard the DSL connection is to work with. Constant rebooting, or system down entirely, and the teachers having to do work at home because they cannot get it done while at work. It would be a huge improvement for the school’s efficiency and productivity!” – KBP, Oliver Street

“My current DSL speed on Barre Road is .86 Mbps Download , 0.23 Mbps Upload. My Verizon land line (phone & DSL)  works only intermittently when it is raining.  Many of my neighbors on Barre Road are experiencing the same problem, but the Verizon repair call center keeps telling us the  problem in not in the lines but in our houses.”L Shaw, Barre Road

“Prospective buyers have walked away from home sales in town when they learned that broadband internet was not available in Petersham.”Chuck, West St.

“When I need to upload files for work I sit in my car at Market Basket in Athol because I can get good internet from the cell tower there.”Troy, Barre Rd.

“Our visiting faculty and their families choose to live in Amherst when they learn that we have no broadband internet in our houses.”Edythe Cherkas Ellin, Harvard Forest

“We just bought a new home on Common Street but Verizon will not connect us to the internet. So we have installed a satellite dish. There are nine of us, all with internet connectivity needs.  Unless we are extremely careful, we reach our monthly data caps in about five days.” New Resident, Common Street

“I am new to Petersham. When I need good connection I go over to the Petersham library. I was recently on Skype with a friend in Ukraine and my connection was not good.  My friend said, ‘Greg, we are war torn, we don’t have much, a loaf of bread is $13, but our internet service is so much better that what you have there in Petersham.’ “Gregory, Common Street