FairPoint to talk in Goshen about broadband coverage

GOSHEN — On Thursday evening, Goshen residents will meet with representatives of FairPoint Communications to address bringing broadband Internet access to the tiny mountain town.
The public is encouraged to attend the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Goshen Town Hall.
While former Gov. Jim Douglas made high-speed Internet access a priority of his administration, with the goal of covering the entire state by the year 2010, the only current option for Goshen residents is to connect to the Internet via dial-up service.
“Most of Goshen’s phone lines are original, installed in the 1960s, and do not reliably or efficiently support Internet service,” wrote Jeff Cathcart, a Goshen resident who has been leading the charge to bring a broadband connection to Goshen, in an email.
In a January 2010 interview with the Independent, FairPoint spokesperson Beth Fastiggi said the company had established a target date of Dec. 31 to bring full broadband coverage to at least half of its telephone exchanges. She said Goshen, as part of the Brandon exchange, would likely fall into this group.
And while FairPoint announced that it had expanded broadband coverage to more than 80 percent of its customers in November 2010, Goshen residents do not yet fall into that category.
Meanwhile, a bill currently in the Legislature would set out a plan and nearly $300 million in state and federal funding to bring cellular phone and broadband Internet access to all areas of the state by the end of 2013.
 Cathcart said he hopes that Thursday’s meeting will bring out as many Goshen residents as possible.
“FairPoint’s willingness to meet and discuss the future of Goshen’s communication service is seen as a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Cathcart.
Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at [email protected].

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