Our Fiber Partnership with Otis Wood Lands

Our Fiber Partnership with Otis Wood Lands

Otis Wood LandsOtis Wood Lands is a premier private community of 220 homes nestled in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts. The property is located in the towns of Otis and Sandisfield. Most of the residents of the community are second homeowners, although there are a small number of full-time residents. The community is close to several art attractions including Tanglewood, Jacobs Pillow, theater companies and museums. It also attracts hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Before the OWL fiber installation, internet connectivity throughout the community was tenuous at best. The primary solutions included Verizon DSL, using phones as a "hotspot" and satellite (Hughes). Limitations in speed, reliability, performance and connectivity were all major problems for homeowners. Depending on location in the community and internet usage, some were able to use one of these services with little or no issue, while others achieved limited, variable service or no service at all. Television service was through satellite companies.

Conversations began with Sertex in 2017. The private community established its own contract with Sertex and managed its own installation. All utilities are underground so installing fiber was a bit more complicated than in the rest of Otis. Fiber installation started in June 2020 and was completed a year later.  Over 90% of the home have subscribed to fiber to date.

“Due to the pandemic, part-time homeowners moved here full-time to escape Covid-19 hotspots in the city. They realized they couldn’t work or home-school from here with the unreliable internet connection. The pandemic illustrated how essential fast and reliable internet service is,” said Peter Geller, president of the OWL Board of Directors.

“As this was a large financial commitment for our community members, Sertex figured out ways to control costs. They didn’t always do things the easiest way for themselves; they did things in the most cost-effective way for our community,” continued Geller. “It was a pleasure working with them. Sertex was always looking out for Otis Wood Lands’ best interests. They did everything they said they would and then some.”

“Sertex was great! Those who managed the project knew very little about conduit and fiber. There were many unknowns for us. Sertex educated us, step-by-step, and answered every question. They included us in their team. In the end, we too became experts!”

- Peter Geller, Otis Wood Lands

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