BroadbandBI Officially Launches on Block Island
Sertex was honored to be part of the BroadbandBI Lighting Celebration with the Block Island community, broadband partners, and invited guests including Senator Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Rhode Island’s Secretary of Commerce Elizabeth Tanner.
The event was an opportunity for New Shoreham town officials, broadband partners, and prominent supporters to recognize the historic achievement and share their unique perspectives.
- Keith Stover, New Shoreham First Warden and master of ceremonies, kicked off the event by saying, “The broadband project reflects the best of our community, coming together, building consensus, taking risks, and believing in our island.”
- Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse agreed that while BroadbandBI is the first municipally-owned network in the state, it won't be the last. Senator Reed referred to the BI network as "the model for all others."
- Rhode Island’s Secretary of Commerce Elizabeth Tanner pointed out a BI truth, saying that broadband is a “game changer for the whole island.” Referring to the state, she called broadband “the backbone of what our economy is and where it’s going," and acknowledged that BIock Island now has "some of the highest internet speeds in the entire state.”
- Ken Lacoste, local business owner and former New Shoreham First Warden, said BroadbandBI’s speeds have improved his businesses and communications “exponentially.” He explained, “my download speed was as low as 1.77 [Mbps], my upload speed was 0.32 [Mbps]. Dreadfully slow to work, communicate or recreate with. Now, I’m seeing 356 down and over 30 up. As an island, we are going to be very grateful.”
- Mike Solitro, Sertex CEO, remarked, “All of us at Sertex are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. It’s been rewarding to know that we were part of something that was bigger than ourselves and that’s going to impact the island for decades to come.”
More than 100 people gathered on the historic site of Block Island’s Southeast Lighthouse, overlooking the wind farm that made the BroadbandBI network possible.
Block Island School students used a 3D printer to create a ceremonial light switch to turn on the network and commemorate the island’s historic achievement of building the first municipally-owned fiber broadband network in Rhode Island.
Watch the Story of BroadbandBI
Like the wind farm that powers the island, the network provides critical infrastructure and is a milestone achievement, digitally connecting New Shoreham to the mainland and the world.