Massachusetts voters say yes to muni broadband

Municipal broadband is moving forward in rural and underserved areas of Massachusetts in a variety of projects supported by the state and local bond issues. Work is now underway in the town of Leverett, which recently passed a $3.6 million bond issue on record turn out – 39% of residents voted on the ballot issue with only a small minority voting against. The project will be part of the MassBroadband 123 Network, a $71.6 million statewide broadband expansion.

In order for the Leverett work to begin, the 1,000 mile MassBroadband 123 Network must be complete. According to state task force data, the broader network is expected to be finished by next year, the news provided a crucial timeline to officials working on the Leverett project. Once complete, municipal broadband builders will be able to begin deploying their own fiber in earnest.

According to a local press account, early work on the Leverett project includes anchor public safety and law enforcement offices. MassBroadband is working on connecting the surrounding towns to each other and to Boston.

The connection to Boston is crucial to bringing down wireless and wireline carrier costs throughout the area. The piece also notes that WiredWest Communications Cooperative has recently issued an RFP for a 30-town last mile cooperative that will follow behind the broader expansion.

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