Islands’ internet service saved

CRANBERRY ISLES — Islesford residents Jim and Sallye Parrish have changed their minds about making Redzone Wireless remove its equipment from their house by Oct. 20, depriving Redzone customers in town of internet access.

“We are going to let them use our tower until they can make other arrangements,” Sallye Parrish said Wednesday. “We’re pleased that we’ve decided that.”

The Parrishes also have dropped their request to be paid $300 a month to have the Redzone equipment in their house.

Selectman Joy Sprague called the couple’s decision “fantastic news.”

“We have a happy ending and all has been resolved, and we’ll just go forward from here.”

Selectman Malcolm Fernald said, “I appreciate [the Parrish’s] decision and am glad things can continue as they are. I’m sure the whole community is very pleased.”

Nine years ago, Parrish agreed to have Redzone equipment installed in a room at the top of the six-story tower on the corner of his house so that he and others on the island could have internet service. This summer, when he switched to a satellite-based internet provider, he said he wanted to be paid for continuing to house the Redzone equipment.

Both Redzone and the town’s Board of Selectmen denied the request.

Parrish then said he would unplug the Redzone equipment unless he received $1,000 by Aug. 22. Redzone agreed to contribute $500, and Redzone customers chipped in the other $500 by the deadline.

But then Parrish declined to take the money, saying he wanted the Redzone equipment removed by Oct. 20.

Redzone President Jim McKenna said in an email to town officials this summer, “To my knowledge, Jim Parrish’s home is the only structure on Islesford that can reliably reach the mainland. That’s why I’ve advised the town to put up a tower for the last seven years.”

The town has a Broadband Working Group that is looking for a long-term solution to the entire town’s connectivity needs. The Board of Selectmen has asked the broadband group to develop a request for proposals (RFP) from internet service companies to provide broadband service to three of the town’s islands: Great Cranberry, Islesford and Sutton.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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