The installation of the broadband network arrives on the last stretch

It’s time to start planning where to place your equipment for broadband service if you’re an island owner, especially on the northern end of the island. And if you need a visual aid, there is one now available at the town hall. Sertex employees built a model showing the equipment used for domestic installations.
Members of the Broadband Committee got a first look at the model during their October 20 meeting.
A network interface device is installed outside the house, and it will be connected to an optical network terminal (ONT) inside the house which can be up to 50 feet away. This in turn will be connected to a computer modem.
The modem comes with a 6 foot cable, however, it can be placed up to 50 feet – the cable is replaceable at the owner’s expense. (Sertex recommends a “Cat 6” cable for the fastest speeds.) The modem is of course capable of providing wi-fi, but if you wish to have a more secure and faster connection, you can plug your computer directly into the back of the modem. (You can also plug a telephone into the back of the modem.)
The modem and the optical network terminal will need to be connected to an electrical outlet. Customers will therefore want to take this into account when planning.
If you want to have phone and internet service during a power outage, it is best to install a UPS surge protector and backup system. Customers can supply their own, obtain one from Sertex, or do without.
Broadband committee member Amy Land said Sertex thinks they can get all the mainline and overhead line work done on the island by Thanksgiving, but that will of course depend on the weather.
Splicing of fiber optic lines is also to be tested, which Land says will begin in the coming weeks.
The user interface with the website will also need to be tested to ensure that the act of registering for the service is smooth.
However, customers will not be able to start registering at this time. The site is being reconfigured with an imminent “relaunch”. Land said it “pulled” a few customers to the northern end of the island to carry out the tests.
One important thing to note is that Sertex will not install any equipment on or in the home until the homeowner actually signs up for the service, and if you wait too long it will no longer be free.
There are often questions about switching carriers and Land said the process should be smooth, but customers should expect a window of up to 14 days from when the request is sent and when it occurs. She also said that caller ID could be affected and that during the porting period, it might be necessary to use different phones for outgoing and incoming calls.
Land warned, however, that people might need to “make sure” Verizon is actually unbilling your account.
The manager of the island’s free library, Kristin Baumann, was on hand as she had heard it had been suggested at a town council meeting that the library be used for educational purposes. “There’s a big gap,” she said, “between rabbit ears and flip phones,” and those who are more tech-savvy. “I think there’s a lot of education to be done.”
Not only is everyone on the same playing field, but they all have different equipment. “The library is going to realize that everyone is going to have a different device,” Baumann said. And these devices will also come in different ages and capacities.
Land said that with his “see into the house” abilities, Crocker service representatives “will be a part of that conversation.”
“We will still have gaps to fill,” Baumann said. “They call it ‘tech petting zoos’.”
Financial assistance may be available for eligible families, but not until the system is operational. Under federal assistance programs, service must actually be provided before an Internet service provider — in this case, Crocker — can apply to participate in the program.
According to Land, eligible families are those who are also qualified to receive a free lunch at their local school. They can then get a credit of $30 per month on their broadband bill.


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