Offended by broadband article | Letters

I was offended by the info-mercial you called a news story on broadband in the islands. I’ve been using fiber optic-based broadband at my home on Orcas Island since the turn of the century successfully communicating with mainland telephone companies as a freelance telecommunication network engineer.

I was part of the team that laid the first in this nation’s combination submarine power conductor with imbedded fiber optics that linked Orcas to Shaw and Shaw to Lopez in 1984. The technology had been used in Italy and Japan earlier so we, Pacific Telecom and OPALCO, used Sumitomo cable for the Orcas-Shaw run and Perelli cable between Shaw and Lopez.

We have an interesting telecommunication system history in these Islands and its unfortunate that your reporter chose to ignore it. I use Centurytel Broadband with very few problems. It is fast enough for me to transmit my work to WSDOT and various telephone companies any time I need such a link. Your news article suggests that what I do daily is not possible.

I worked for OPALCO for a day and a half, having been asked to review their fiber plan.

I gave them two answers; 1) Your plan is well conceived, and 2) You’ll never pay for it unless you drive Centurytel and all other providers off the islands.

Your article seems to be designed to do just that and I object to your use of this newspaper for such a purpose.

Michael Baker

Orcas Island