2009-11-07 / News

Liberty Township wants to get wired

By Scott Rawdon

BALTIMORE – Liberty Township resident Joseph Machado wonders why Liberty Township can’t cross into the 21st Century.

He says many residents and business owners are unhappy with some areas of the township’s sluggish Internet service and he’s on a quest to bring faster service to the entire community. Machado said he and a volunteer broadbandseeking team are distributing a survey, asking citizens about their Internet service and what they’d like to see in Liberty Township. He said Liberty Township’s Internet service varies from dial-up to satellite and some DSL. Verizon, Avolve, Wildblue, Time-Warner, and other provide service.

“There’s no accurate and comprehensive list, but I believe there’s general dissatisfaction with the quality and speed of service,” said Machado. He said existing service is inadequate to attract Internet dependent businesses to the township and Baltimore Village.

Machado said the township’s rural nature and lack of a “business case” are responsible for the area’s less than ideal online service options. He said from what he’s experienced, local providers simply aren’t interested in providing more options. The biggest consideration for providers is the cost of building the infrastructure versus the number of users who will subscribe in time to pay for it.

Machado prefers a fiber-optic based infrastructure to provide high-speed broadband service to every home and business, but “We aren’t even close to having that in Liberty Township,” he said. The township needs a plan that provides improved service and provides a “graceful way” to upgrade service in the future. “This approach is possible and federal stimulus money may be available if we can verify the need,” said Machado.

An Avolve representative told The Beacon in an email, “We have high speed wireless broadband service in and around Liberty Township and have been happily providing service for the past three years. We have expansion plans in the works for covering more of the area and we are doing it with our own capital and not with government stimulus money.”

Machado said he’s contacted surrounding townships and municipalities to find out what they’re doing for services and he’s looking into possible partnerships to improve service for everyone.

Machado asked for the brief surveys to be returned to the Liberty Township Trustees by Nov. 15.

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