Letters to the editor reflect the opinion of the writer(s), not the Rapp News. Comment below or by writing a letter to the editor: editor@rappnews.com. 

When Mr. Ron Maxwell plans one of his acknowledged historical films, I am sure he does a tremendous amount of research to produce his excellent and significant productions. In his recent commentary (Supervisors, let’s take a deep breath and rethink universal fiber, Rappahannock News, Dec. 23, 2021), I wish he had done the extensive research needed when writing about the broadband discussions underway here in Rappahannock County.

Our local newspaper’s reporter Julia Shanahan had written lengthy coverage about the subject in the Dec. 16, 2021, issue which included a graphic illustrating coverage by existing broadband services, the portion of the county that will be served by Shentel through a federal grant to build fiber, and the vast areas here proposed for coverage in the proposed regional fiber-to-home service.

When Adelphia installed its cable for internet service along U.S. Route 522 (through subsequent buyouts, that became Comcast). There was minimum disturbance along the roadway. Now think about the two current proposals of Mr. Maxwell: Piedmont Broadband and Starlink. To the best of my knowledge, both depend on line of sight. In Winter, with leaves gone, good service.

Once Spring & Summer leaves appear, that line of sight needs to be adjusted, most probably by extensive tree trimmings. To properly install initially, how many trees might actually have to be removed/trimmed back? When a person raises the specter of developers ravishing our countryside, what impact would extensive line of sight do to the nooks and crannies that exist here?

I am glad Mr. Maxwell agrees that broadband is needed here. That was brought home extensively when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the schools discovered the large percentage of students lacking internet at home and hot spots sprang up throughout our county. Unfortunately, students were forced to sit in cars at those places to accomplish a lot of their work. Additionally, people here were hindered in health care as telehealth was scarce.

Look at the map again on page 12 of the Rappahannock News Dec.16, 2021, issue. Let’s work together to get the broadband we need here to benefit all here in Rappahannock County. An additional item to consider for those who say they don’t want this service, please consider any future your current home could have when/or if you or heirs might decide to sell. Internet access is a valuable asset.

Sheila Gresinger



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