By Larry Parnass, Reprinted from The Berkshire Eagle
WORTHINGTON — Broadband advocates from Berkshire County and beyond pressed Thursday for the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to free up funding, speed decision-making and support regional solutions to a problem they say impairs civic life.
Their sometimes sharply worded remarks took frequent aim at the MBI itself, saying the agency assigned the job of bringing broadband to dozens of unserved communities has too often changed its rules, frustrating dogged local efforts to end the digital dark ages.
“We’ve endured a constant state of flux,” said Howard Bronstein of Plainfield.
Peter Larkin, the MBI board chairman and former Pittsfield lawmaker, joined the institute’s deputy director, Edmund […]
- 3/6/2017 Added 2/27 MBI Meeting with PP RPF results
- 3/4/2017 Added Key Features page to the Project section.
- 3/4/2017 Added additional FAQ’s to the Regional Broadband FAQ’s page.
- 2/28/2017 added WGBY Connection Point Interview on Videos page.
- 2/28/2017 added MLP Depreciation Reserve info
- 2/28/2017 added Suggested Warrant Article for MLP Board
- Resolutions for Selectmen to sign (2/4/2017) on the Recent Info page
- 2/16/2017 Updated Media Coverage page. Berkshire Eagle stories.
- IMPORTANT: If you received the Financials Worksheet at the 1/28 Workshop or downloaded it from the site, please download the corrected Jan 31 version on the Jan 28 Workshop presentation materials page.
- 1/29/2017 Posted Jan 28 Workshop […]
By JIM LEVULIS, WAMC – Original post on WAMC.org
Efforts to bring broadband internet to underserved areas of rural, western Massachusetts have been ongoing for more than a decade. Now the regional cooperative WiredWest has a new proposal. It comes after Governor Charlie Baker’s administration shook up and reviewed the efforts of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.
WAMC spoke with Bob Labrie, a member of WiredWest’s executive committee, and Tim Newman, the group’s spokesman. Newman says the proposal calls for WiredWest to administer the regional internet network with private providers handling the operations.
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute did not respond to a request for […]
by Larry Parnass – The Berkshire Eagle Read full story
NORTHAMPTON — Rather than build and run a sprawling regional broadband system, a nonprofit cooperative now seeks to fill a narrower but critical role for towns fighting to obtain fast internet connections.
WiredWest leaders made this case Saturday to municipal officials from across Western Massachusetts: Build your networks and let us take care of the rest.
“It’s going to save our town a lot of money in resources,” said Gayle Huntress of Shutesbury, a WiredWest leader who led the more than two-hour presentation at Northampton’s middle school. “We’re focused on solving this part.”
On February, 16, 2017 the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) held an open meeting to hear from MBI town designees and local Select board members about their thoughts regarding the results of the Private Provider RFP. The meeting took place at the Worthington, Massachusetts Town Hall.
Select board members and designees wishing to speak were asked to RSVP to MBI Deputy Director Edmund Donnelly, as each speaker was limited to 3 minutes.
Over almost a 2 hour period, one town after another told the MBI they wanted 3 things:
- Let the towns work with Westfield Gas & Electric to build their networks
- Release to each town their full allocation of the $40 million appropriated for the last mile build for both construction and professional services
- Allow the towns to work regionally with WiredWest if they choose.
This event was designed for members of Select Boards, Broadband Committees and Finance Committees to familiarize them with the details of the newly designed regional operations plan offered by WiredWest in order to weigh it against other options.
The plan presented covers operations of town networks after they are built. Since the Last Mile policy dictates that every town must build and own its own infrastructure, the new WiredWest plan is focused on providing towns a way to operate and manage their networks and deliver service to townspeople in a regional and cost-effective manner.
Town leaders were presented with the plan details, provided take-away materials, questions were answered and town leaders were able to work through your town’s costs to participate in the WiredWest regional solution
Copies of all materials presented at the workshop are available here.
WiredWest: our cooperative solution for broadband internet in western Massachusetts
Get the Answers
Q. When will we actually get broadband?
Q. Will subscribers have to keep their Verizon phone service to get WiredWest’s broadband service?
Q. Who controls the subscriber rates?
Q: How does MBI play into this?