As the City Manager of Ting Internet, I’m excited by the network build, and look forward to the people of Westminster gaining access.
As a Phase 1 resident, I’m thrilled that I’ll soon have unfettered Internet access at my house! Just like approximately 800+ homes, I’ve had to live with utility markings on my property, navigate around construction equipment on my street, watch them dig up my grass for a test pit and what looks to be a hand hole and hope that the grass grows back. In case you’re wondering what a hand hole is, it’s a box in the ground, and when the lid comes off, it allows technicians to get in there and get their hands on the actual infrastructure.
I also recognize that this isn’t it. Later this year, they’ll bury a drop in my yard. I too am worried about where I should have the Ting team drill through my house, terminate the fiber, and place the router. I just moved here in January (yes, I picked out this house because it was in Phase 1) and my walls are a freshly-painted shade of burgundy in the room where I want the router. No matter how hard I try, the yellow or white fiber and the blue Cat 6 cables are not blending in. I’ve got some ideas of how to hide them, but short of redoing the drywall, they’re going to be seen!
My advantage is that I have a full understanding of what’s coming, and wow, do I need it. Having the gig means that on Monday morning after I’ve taken my oldest to school and my parents arrive to watch my youngest, I can decide to work from home for a little bit, dad can stream what he wants to watch via SlingTV, my son can stream PBS Kids to watch Thomas on Gigi’s iPad and mom can stream her XM Radio on her phone. Then when I get on a Skype call with my boss, I don’t have to yell down to them to stop using the Internet (which is what I have to do now with my DSL connection). I know that on Saturday afternoon when we need some downtime, if the boys can’t agree on what to watch and I’ve had enough of cartoons, I can stream Pandora and they can each watch something via Netflix on their iPads (with headphones, of course) while I browse through Pinterest looking for a craft idea for later.
I also know that there are things I’m not doing now that I’ll start doing once I have the gig, like getting my security system hooked into my network. I can only imagine the Internet of Things devices I’m going to incorporate into my home — because I have the bandwidth to allow me to do so.
So, the contractor for the city is welcome to bother my yard, and this process is no burden in my eyes. I know that ultimately, it’s worth it for crazy fast, super-reliable Internet. And it’s absolutely worth preparing my home, and hopefully yours too, for all the cool things to come. Watch out world, Westminster’s gaining on you!
—Val Giovagnoni, City Manager of Ting Internet in Westminster, MD