Broadband progressing slowly but surely

Fri, 05/28/2021 - 9:45am

Building a fiber-to-the-premises network is a complex, multi-phase process – especially when it involves hooking up an entire island all at once. With the influx of people to the island, those who rent out their homes or own businesses should share information on the broadband construction with customers and guests, and ask them to proceed carefully during their visit to Block Island.
Sertex, the company installing the new broadband system on Block Island, now anticipates customer turn-ons beginning in December of this year and continuing through next winter, spring, and summer. Permit approvals, equipment procurement, and network construction are underway. This schedule reflects best estimates for activities, some outside the control of the Town of New Shoreham or Sertex, including permit approvals for underground construction, Verizon licensing needed to attach fiber to the poles, and possible supply chain disruptions.

Crews from Sertex are now busy installing conduit, primarily on private property and along private roads. Sertex will not commence construction on major roadways until after the busy summer season. In addition to Sertex construction work, pole make-ready work by local utilities will continue across the island this summer and is a critical step in network construction.

There are many things that island residents and visitors can do to ensure the safety of working Sertex and utility crews this summer. Whether walking, cycling, or driving a car or moped, everyone should keep a safe distance from work crews and equipment; follow the requested travel path indicated by cones, arrows, flags or flaggers and slow down, pay attention and be alert when approaching and passing work sites. Please be patient and expect some delays.

A safe work environment will keep construction progress moving ahead as much as possible during these busy summer months.
Please don’t move the flags!
Sertex, has been visiting properties over the past few months to mark the paths the fiber conduit will take through individual properties and to note the location of other, underground utilities including electricity, and water and sewer lines. These locations are marked with either flags or temporary paint to ensure a safe construction environment for you and Sertex construction crews.
It is critical that these flags remain in place until Sertex crews complete their work at your property. Sertex crews are the only peo-
ple authorized to remove or move Dig Safe and Sertex flags. Please do not remove them for lawn mowing. The time frame from Sertex’s initial site visit to completion of the drop construction and removal of flags will be approximately four to six weeks.

If Sertex crews suspect that flags have been moved, Dig Safe will need to return to the property to re-mark utilities. This may de-
lay installation of your fiber conduit. If you have questions, please email Sertex Customer Service at