Block Island Residents Association / Infrastructure  / Broadband Initiative Update

Broadband Initiative Update

The Block Island Residents Association would like to report to its members, the Block Island community, and part-time residents on the status of the Broadband Initiative.

The Town of New Shoreham began the Broadband Initiative to address the issue of substandard Internet service on Block Island. This lack of high speed, reliable service has negatively affected all areas of life: education, government, public safety, medical, business, and tourism. Begun in 2009, a New Shoreham Broadband Committee has now been in place for several years and aggressively pursuing financially viable options for connecting Block Island through our fiber optic cable incorporated in our undersea power cable.

The first phase of the Island Broadband Project is up and running.

This phase is provided broadband internet service to the Fire Barn, the Power Company, the Town Garage, the Library, the Town Hall, the School and the Medical Center. The broadband service has opened up the world of the internet to these users.

The second phase of the Broadband Project is to bring internet service to the rest of the Island. Professional consultants are engineering and designing the system and we are waiting to hear their recommendations and cost estimates for the Island wide system.

The Block Island Residents Association strongly believes that high speed internet is critical to the current and future quality of life on Block Island. Think about this — if you have Verizon, your speed is 1,000 times less than what is available on the mainland; if you have satellite, your speed is 100 times less.

We encourage you to become informed about this issue; to let your neighbors and colleagues know that you support the initiative; and a letter to the editor expressing your opinion would be most helpful.

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