Letters to the Editor
DAS makes sense
To the Editor:
After I attended the West Tisbury Selectmen's DAS (Distributed Antenna System) meeting the other night and listened to the pros and cons, my own position has solidified. But to begin with, a story told to me by my mother.
Many years ago, my elderly great grandmother and great, great aunt were on their way to the Chilmark Church a few miles from where they lived in Quitsa. The dirt roads were dusty and heavily rutted. Very kindly, the Vincent brothers offered to drive them in their Model T Ford. But down by Hariph's Creek Bridge the car fell over on its side. After the Vincent brothers helped the sisters-in-law out, my great, great aunt swore she'd never ride in such a terrible, unreliable, newfangled, frightening machine again, and she walked back borne.
My great grandmother waited while the brothers pushed the Model T upright, then got back in and continued to the church. She had decided that the car would get her to the church on time, not just then, but over and over and over again in the future. Regardless of the fact that automobiles were intrinsically dangerous, and frightening to horses, and that their use meant children could no longer play freely in sandy roadways, the car for all its problems became a useful tool. Now, still dangerous, it routinely transports us and our children.
Today many people are dependent on cell phones. The fact that a number of West Tisbury homes already have cell phone service is not a reason to assume everyone who wants it has it. There are pockets where residents, as well as summer people, have no service, but should. Safety is the foremost objective. Every accident is an isolated event, whether on the roadways or in our homes. I keep a cell phone and hope that one day I will have service from my home.
Contractors, deliverymen, medical personnel, people who come up-Island on a daily basis to work, parents needing to contact their children, children needing to call home - all deserve the benefits offered by 21st century communication.
Working with Chilmark and Aquinnah, in a spirit of cooperation, West Tisbury selectmen have introduced the town to cell phone service that would cover a more substantial number of townspeople with the idea that a service provider or providers would in time be able to extend that coverage to our beaches. In addition, as presented to us by Alexander Gamota of American Tower Corporation, the town would receive a fee and participate in revenue sharing.
This DAS plan makes sense.