Block Island Times

Sertex making slow but steady progress

Sertex has quietly been operating on Block Island all summer long, but will soon be gearing up for a post-summer burst of activity installing broadband on Block Island.
Block Island will be the first community in Rhode Island to install a municipal broadband network, but Sertex has installed networks in several towns in Massachusetts, particularly in under-served rural communities in the Berkshires.The Block Island Times sat down with Sertex Vice President of Operations, Shawn Harmon, who is also serving as the project manager for Block Island, to see just where the project is at, and where it is going in the immediate future. After all, summer is over, and with less traffic on the roads, construction can resume in force.
There have been obstacles other than traffic and lack of housing for workers. Harmon estimates there are just over 1800 properties on the island that potentially can be hooked up, although he says, surprisingly, “a few hundred” have not yet signed up.
Many homes on the island have buried, underground utilities, and it is required for all new construction. Thus, Sertex has been installing its conduit underground where it can.
As of last week, Harmon said that conduit

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