Letter to the Editor: Opposition for Broadband Internet Towers

One-hundred-and-ninety-foot-high metal towers with guy-wires are ugly. Door County is a place of special beauty.

The proposed broadband technology requires line-of-sight between the tower and the receiver.

Think about what “line-of-sight” means.

Now combine these sentences with a headlong rush to erect towers all over Door County with grant money to benefit a private contractor installing out-dated technology, without any consideration for future-proof alternatives that don’t require 190-foot-high towers. Also consider all the effort that goes into disguising cell phone towers because they are also ugly, which are typically much shorter than 190 feet.

No new towers should be funded or provisioned without the explicit consent of a wide cross-section of the residents of Door County. Once one of these towers goes up, there will be no taking it down, that’s for sure. Picture the Ellison Bay towers in four or more additional places. The 190-foot height is no coincidence either, as the FAA requires aircraft warning lights at 200 feet.

As a computer scientist and mechanical engineer, I believe a much better solution is to use any grant money to properly expand our existing coaxial network (cable) as originally envisioned and lease its use to private internet service providers. I’m 1,300 feet from a cable box but can’t for blood or treasure get hooked up it. Why not? I could drag the wire over to the box myself.

Finally, why haven’t any alternative proposals been floated? For example, have all the existing cell phone towers in Door County been fully exploited for local broadband? DSL also provides 12mb/s internet speeds, so why not fund expanding the number of DSL hubs? Have all of the residents even looked into DSL? Frontier Communications’ problems will be resolved one way or another in the near future, so why not take advantage of technology already widely available in Door County?

Tim Erskine

Sister Bay, Wisconsin