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Small Town, Big Internet

Cumberland, Rhode Island


The town of Cumberland, in northern Rhode Island, is a fast-growing community with approximately 32,000 residents. Town officials were relying on dial-up Internet service for telecommunications needs, and were unhappy with the slow speed and unreliable customer service. In addition, the telephone service was outdated and high-priced. Officials wanted a new provider to create a more efficient, cost-effective communications network.


Cumberland partnered with Cox Business for its phone and Internet service for a number of reasons. Town officials liked the fact that Cox Business was a facilities-based company that had just completed a major upgrade of its entire Rhode Island network. Plus, it offered the services and savings the town was looking for.

The plan called for installation of 50 Centrex phone lines and high-speed Internet service at all 7 town offices. This would allow the departments to communicate between other Centrex departments using 4-digit extensions rather than 7-digit numbers. Besides efficiency, the 4-digit extensions would allow the town to avoid outside, per minute call charges, and would provide access to long distance services as needed.

According to Zachary Heath, Administrative Assistant to Cumberland Mayor Daniel J. McKee, the new network brought their government into the 21st century. "The increased bandwidth has given us the ability to service our own Web site, as well as bring e-mail to all Town of Cumberland personnel," he said. "This has helped increase the efficiency and communication within Town Hall, as well as our ability to communicate with the public."


In addition, the reduced line charges and reorganization helped give Cumberland a substantial savings in the first year alone. "We have experienced no service disruptions since the inception of the new network, and the savings we realized on our telephone service has definitely helped our operating budget," Heath said. "We have also seen a positive change in the way we are serviced. The patience and experience of the entire Cox Business Service staff, from the salespeople to customer service, has been extremely beneficial to the Town."
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