16 Jul Falmouth Enterprise: Wrong Approach For Falmouth
By Tim Wilkerson
The recent letter on a fiber optic network in Falmouth pointed out an essential truth: a reliable internet connection, particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, has never been more important. This crisis has changed the way we live, learn and work, and redefined many elements of our lives, including how our cities and communities can best allocate their resources.
However, the concerns raised by the letter’s author about internet capacity during the pandemic are misplaced. Not only is Cape Cod a success story with over 99 percent of homes and businesses having access to broadband connectivity, the data shows that networks are performing well and meeting the increased demand for services during the pandemic. Broadband providers have a long track record of connecting Cape Cod residents and businesses, and nationally, these companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars annually to invest in new technology, greater network capacity, internet security and broadband infrastructure and resiliency.
This track record also shows why adopting a government-run network is the wrong approach for Falmouth. Municipalities and communities don’t have the technical capacity, nor the resources to innovate and invest year-over-year, or the human-power to install, repair, maintain and update networks. The residents of Concord saw this firsthand during the pandemic when the city’s government-owned provider suspended installations, while private providers continued to serve millions of customers across the Commonwealth.