We need true broadband service

To the Editor:

Thank you for giving prominence to the need for broadband internet access in our communities [“Hilltown internet coverage is expanding, but affordability is still a concern,” The Altamont Enterprise, Feb. 9, 2021].

As Berne Supervisor Sean Lyons points out, this service is critical to education. It is also essential for many who work from home or who are just trying to stay connected for say scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination!

However, while I am far from tech savvy, it does not sound like Starlink is a rescue. For one thing, it’s a satellite service which has limitations.

I use HughesNet — another satellite service and find it superior to our prior reliance on a Verizon MiFi device but I still cannot download videos, have sketchy Zoom capability, and at times when weather is bad, poor overall service.

In addition, for many in our area, other providers such as HughesNet already offered this service through the state’s rural broadband program and before it at a much less expensive cost. Elon Musk himself has noted that “Starlink is better than nothing.”

Finally, for those concerned with our disappearing night sky, I understand these low flying satellites contribute to that environmental issue.

We need true broadband service — it is an essential utility now.

Helene Goldberger


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