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If It Can Happen Here ...
HughesNet Comes to Lyme, New Hampshire

Product/Service Review

It brought to mind the (albeit paraphrased) line from the Kander and Ebb number New York, New York: “If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere. . .” 

"What happened" is Internet connection and "here" is Lyme, New Hampshire where we’ve been living off a dirt road and up a 500+-foot driveway for more than a decade. The experience has not been without its challenges. We've been tested (sometimes to the point of wondering whether the serene setting and sublime scenery are worth the price) by plagues on the order of blizzards, a de-foresting spring storm, power outages, cell-phones that don’t work in the wilderness, the mess of mud season, and not least -- the exasperating and excruciatingly slow process of Dial-Up.

 Every so often, a DSL company would emerge from the mountain mist promising relief from this last frustration. A cheerful and confident rep would provide a modem along with us assurances that swift and efficient linkage to the World Wide Web was not only possible, it was imminent. Then the wait would begin. Typically, three to four weeks when -- after many an unreturned phone call -- we’d finally get the news: “Sorry, you’re just out of our range.”

And then we heard there was an Internet service where range was not an issue. All that was needed was an unobstructed view of the southwestern sky. Not a problem for people whose real estate taxes include a hefty sum for views.

 A week later, a little HughesNet satellite dish had been planted on a hill behind the house. Looking out to the southwest, it has since braved the elements, efficiently sending and picking up signals without missing a cyber-second even through the early snows of December and into January.


Photo by Harvey Frommer

Unlike the DSL purveyors, we have found in HughesNet a company where  messages never go unanswered. At HughesNet, there really is such a thing as Customer Service. The people who work in it are competent and helpful. They have  helped us get all our computers linked up, efficiently provided advice, and posed solutions to our problems. Moreover, as there are times when (much as we love the  country) we've just got to get away, we can avail ourselves of HughesNet's suspension of service feature which allows one to freeze connections up to six months a year.

Recently we learned that with its newest, Boeing built  satellite "Spaceway 3," HughesNet will be bringing satellite Internet to a whole new level. We can't imagine what that might be. But for now, it's like the song (almost) says: "If it can happen here. . ." And for us, that's enough.

As the authors of "It Happened in the Catskills," "It Happened in Brooklyn,"  "It Happened on Broadway," and "It Happened in Manhattan," we can now add another story to the series: "It Happened in New Hampshire: HughesNet's High  Speed Internet access has come to Lyme -- and it's heavenly."

 

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Web: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~frommer/travel.htm.

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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