It’s been nearly five weeks since workers went on strike. Looking for a new contract and benefits, they’ve been picketing outside of many Verizon stores including one location in Hadley. But a new report by the CDC shows that nearly half of all Americans only have a cell phone. A nearly 3 percent increase since 2014.
Only 7 percent of households only have a landline, but here in western Massachusetts, there are many small hilltowns that don’t get cell service. Tanya Rapinchuk, who lives in Worthington said that “Where I live, cell phones don’t work. So it’s absolutely necessary to have a landline if you want to get a phone call. And we have line workers always because we have a lot of trees up there and storms that effect our phone lines, so it’s important to me.”
It’s not just cell phone towers. There are nearly 50 towns that are part of the WiredWest initiative, which is working to bring high speed internet to rural towns that don’t have it. Underserved Hampshire County towns include Chesterfield, Goshen, Huntington, Chester, Worthington, Cummington, Plainfield and Middlefield.