Fiber rolls out in Rindge, not without hiccups

  • Rindge’s broadband buildout is underway. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/8/2021 4:43:44 PM

As February rolled into March and the one-year anniversary of Rindge residents passing funding for a fiber internet buildout, the first customers of the new service are starting to be connected to their upgraded internet.

Similar to the town of Mason, whose first customers began to receive their hook-ups earlier this year, the process has not always run smooth for those eager for faster speeds, but residents said they were willing to wait if it ultimately meant improved service.

Consolidated Communications has handily won the bids for internet buildouts across the state, including in Dublin and Rindge, where construction on fiber networks paid for by town bonds have recently been completed and sign ups are starting, and in Mason, where Consolidated Communications used federal funding for a similar project.

Rindge residents who pre-signed up for the service have been eagerly awaiting their hook-up appointments.

Phil Motta, chair of the Rindge TelTech Committee, said the committee has been attempting to keep up with potential problems and working as a bridge between customers and Consolidated Communications when needed.

Julie Trieb of Rindge was expecting a fiber install for her business on March 1. But when March 1 arrived, she called to see if she could secure a window of time, and found that her appointment wasn’t on the books.

“They still have not called us so we have no idea how to even schedule an install to get back in line,” Trieb said.

Trieb said she was able to eventually speak with a representative by email, and schedule a new installation date for March 12, but said she was disappointed with the response from Consolidated.

“I responded asking what happened? Why didn’t they show up or have us scheduled? No response,” Trieb said.

Jeremey Devost of Rindge said unlike some other residents who reported issues with techs not arriving for their scheduled installs, his process went smoothly – except he wasn’t receiving the speeds he was paying for. Devost signed up for the largest data package available, with 1 gbps of both upload and download speed. The install went smoothly, he said, but when he tested his speeds, he was only getting about a quarter of what he was paying for.

That was still a big improvement over his previous package, which provided about 25 mbps of upload and download speed, Devost said, but was lackluster for what was supposed to be the premium package. A technician returned to address the issue, but about an hour after the problem was fixed, Devost’s internet and phone went out entirely, and crews weren’t able to schedule a new appointment until last Wednesday, leaving him without internet for several days.

Devost, who needs the internet both for his work and his son’s Wednesday remote learning school schedule, said that’s frustrating, but he’s willing to be patient.

“I expected a few hiccups,” Devost said.

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