In 1996, there was no Internet Service Provider (ISP) providing
access to the residents of our area. At that time, the Internet
was still in its infancy, and the market wasn't yet recognized.
Quite frankly, no one was interested in investing in a small
rural area such as ours.
A small group of interested residents met to discuss this
problem. Out of the series of meetings that followed grew
the HERD Community
Network, Inc. HERD
gets its name from the acronym formed by the towns within its
service area: Hermon, Edwards, Russell
In the beginning, we had two primary goals. The first was
to provide Internet access to the community, at a reasonable
cost and without a long distance telephone charge. The
second was to give the towns of our area a presence on the World
The ISPs who provided service to other parts of the north
country at that time didn't see the potential for our area.
We did. Even we didn't realize, however, how much was out
there for us and for the Internet in general. We first
went on-line, both as an ISP and as a web site on June 1, 1996.
Originally, the organizers had hoped to provide Internet access
for 50 to 75 households. As time went on, HERD grew.
As we grew, problems developed. Being a small, grass roots
organization, our resources, both financial and manpower, were
limited. Over the next two years, our membership swelled
to over 225. Only a handful of volunteers were involved
and it became too much for them to handle.
The Board of Directors at that time started looking into
options. It was decided that it would be in the best
interest of the community to let a commercial ISP take over that
aspect of HERD. On July 27, 1998, we entered into an
agreement with TDSNET who now provides Internet access locally
to our service area. They also provided us with free
hosting for the HERD website for several years. In 2010,
it was determined that there would be several advantages to
hosting our site on our own.
Today, HERD is a registered non-profit organization. Since
the beginning, we provided a website for the area. Now,
our primary function is to serve as an on-line promoter for our
towns, through our web site.