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Lacking internet? Fight for it

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

There are still areas in the Northwest Corner that have little or no access to the internet. Understanding the meaning of living in 2022 without that requires some thought for those who take it for granted. Google this, ask Alexa that, tell the kids to look up an answer to a question online, or simply do their homework and send it in to their teachers, work remotely like so much of the rest of the world: All these simple things become not only challenging but impossible.

So when the internet providers for our region use cost as the excuse for stopping expanding their service, those who lose out have little sympathy for their plight. Instead, looking for answers becomes vital to them. Enter Sharon Connect Task Force, a group of advocates from that town who know how to shake things up and make things happen. That has been proven by the attention that has finally been paid to Sharon by Comcast and Frontier, the area’s internet providers (see story by Leila Hawken, page B5.)

The task force hired Sertex Broadband Services to study the feasibility of a town-owned network. The outcome was a proposed plan for that network that would cost $12.5 million to construct, with an $89 monthly subscription fee. Then, the town of Sharon could manage a fiber-optic network providing 1 GB download/upload internet service to all who subscribed. Imagine, action on the part of a town’s group of volunteers inspired the large corporate providers to take notice and come in with proposals of their own.

Thank you to all on the Sharon Connect Task Force who took this bull by the horns, and got a strong reaction where there seemed to be no interest or will from Comcast and Frontier before their proposal was made public. With hope now for successful expansion of internet service in Sharon, and other towns that lack it in wide swaths of their area, the task force has set an example for all who have needs that are not met and are wondering whether taking on the fight to change that is worth it.

Yes, it is.

School security

In the aftermath of continuing mass shootings, and especially school shootings like the one in Texas, questions are arising about the strength of security in the Region One schools. These are questions that have been asked since Columbine, really, but especially since the brutal attack at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown 10 years ago.

While a local security company made changes and improvements over the last 10 years, it is always beneficial to revisit something this important. The goal is to make students, parents, teachers, administrators and school staff not only feel safe, but to be safe. It’s a fraught and difficult discussion to have, but if it can happen with mutual respect and open minds, it should lead to a better outcome.

Thank you to our teachers and administrators who have taken our schools through COVID since March of 2020, and who have worked tirelessly to provide their students with successful years despite those challenges. They will now surely work with parents and experts to be responsible in handling the dangers that are clear across the country related to gun violence.

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