MONTGOMERY (WWLP) – Hundreds of Montgomery residents attended a special town meeting last night to decide whether to connect the community to high-speed Internet.
Many of the 800-plus people who live here don’t have Internet access, and if they do, it’s far slower D.S.L.
“Where my house is situated there is no Verizon or at least not at the moment. Cell phones don’t work so you can’t hot spot a cell phone. There’s no cable so you can’t have Internet via cable. The only option that you possibly could have is Hughes Net,” said Jason Stomski, a Montgomery resident.
Last night, more than 200 residents voted on whether to connect every Montgomery home as part of the “wired west movement.” Wired west is an initiative to connect all under-served Massachusetts communities to a high speed fiber. The state covers 35 percent of the cost, with the town having to cover the rest. The project would have required the town to pay more than $600,000.
The town tried voting on this issue two weeks ago but because so many people showed up to vote they didn’t have enough a room to hold everyone. They had to postpone the meeting two weeks and rent a tent so that they could fit everyone.
Only 140 people came out to vote on this issue last June, and it was rejected. A group of residents petitioned to hold another vote.
“It’s been difficult. For example, I work at home. I’ve had problems with the speed of the Internet. It’s actually affected my ability to run my business out of my home so that’s been a frustration,” said Sonia Ellis, a Montgomery resident.
The vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.