Contractor Finds Success Embracing Island’s Pristine Environment

September 2011, Vol. 66 No. 9

“I have worked many other places around the country and usually the communities were looking for improvement, moving it forward and keeping things current with modern times,” Farrissey continued. “While folks on the island are very interested in moving into modern times for the ‘information age,’ the process of getting there, getting things installed to make it happen -- they don’t want any part of that. They don’t like disruption and certainly don’t want to disturb the natural integrity of the surroundings.”

Farrissey, whose wife is among the few native residents of Martha’s Vineyard, saw an opportunity after a major storm had knocked out the vast majority of basic services on the island. Much to the chagrin of locals at the time, Farrissey Telecom was responsible for helping construct the first cable system on the island and today provides a variety of utility installation services for communications giants Verizon and Comcast, as well as the local waste and water departments. Presently, the installation contractor is working with Industrial Communications and AT&T on a major cellular infrastructure upgrade. Farrissey recalls that first big project and what it actually meant to the residents.

“It was a big deal on Martha’s Vineyard,” Farrissey says. “When we first came to the island, if you had a really good antenna, you were happy receiving two or three network TV channels. The residents were actually information-deprived. You can imagine what a big deal it was being at someone’s house and all of a sudden there were over 100 channels available. You can imagine how successful the market penetration was after word spread. Then when the seasonal folks arrived, they were used to having cable in their permanent residences so they immediately signed up.”

Currently, Farrissey is working on a 2000-foot sewer force main extension with 23 laterals to service properties along the way, after which his crews will be installing E1 pumps off of each lateral. The privately funded project is being initiated by affected property owners; the result of environmental concerns and protecting resources that lie just outside their front doors.

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