Friday, October 03, 2008

Limited DSL range disappoints in Western Massachusetts, divides towns into digital haves and have nots

As reported earlier this year, Verizon is rolling out DSL in 24 Western Massachusetts towns. But state Rep. Denis Guyer, D-Dalton, is hearing from irate constituents who understandably believed that if their town is getting the service, that's just what it means and are flummoxed that they're still stuck with dialup or forced to suck a satellite.

The problem is Verizon is using underpowered DSL technology -- which should be dubbed "Doesn't Serve Lots"-- that can only serve parts of the towns. This puts pols like Guyer who are pushing to bring their districts into the modern age of telecommunications in a tough spot since voting districts don't necessarily coincide with DSL availability limits. For those covered by Verizon's DSL deployment, pols like Guyer look like a hero. But from the perspective of his constituents outside Verizon's DSL service limit, he looks like a ineffective bum. As this blog notes, like politics all broadband is local.

The item published in the North Adams Transcript is aptly headlined Guyer says Verizon's Broadband not so broad. So true for not only Western Massachusetts but sadly anywhere in the U.S. served by feeble telco DSL.

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