- WiredWest’s Regional Network Operations and Maintenance RFI closed Friday, September 30. We’ll be studying the 13 responses to put together an operational plan with cost estimates and estimated subscription fee hopefully available in November.
- WiredWest unexpectedly received a 1Berkshire finalist award for Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy. We were one of five finalists.
- The Recent Info page has info about MBI’s September 29 Board Meeting and their new Last Mile Policy as well as a chart we constructed with the various options towns are considering.
- Check out our updated Advice for Towns section.
Tim Newman (WiredWest Spokesperson and Delegate from New Marlborough) and Bob Labrie (WiredWest Executive Committee, Treasurer and Delegate from Goshen) are interviewed for this piece that showcases the efforts small towns are making to bring high speed internet to rural America.
Click here for a link to the story and accompanying transcript.
While cable companies provide internet services for the majority of Americans in urban areas, many rural residents have been left on the dark side of the digital divide. According to a report by the Federal Communications Commission, 34 million Americans lack […]
Wiredwest Releases Analysis Showing Significant Cost Advantage Of A Regional Fiber Network Over Stand-Alone Town Networks
It recently became clear that a rational, data driven analysis comparing the financial impacts of regionalization with towns going it alone was needed for all involved. Only with such a comparison could towns make informed, eyes wide open, decisions on how best to proceed with bringing broadband to their citizens. And this data will assist our elected and appointed leaders in their effort to weigh the pros and cons of the range of solutions to bridge our digital divide. This analysis is now complete and provides an in-depth financial comparison of a regional […]
The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University is a public policy institute whose mission is to explore and understand cyberspace. Read the Center’s just-released long-researched case study on WiredWest.
WiredWest: a Cooperative of Municipalities Forms to Build a Fiber Optic Network. Western Massachusetts Towns Create a New Model for Last-Mile Connectivity, but a State Agency Delays Approval and Funding plus link to the study
By Steve Nelson
(reprinted from Berkshire Eagle, Broadband effort gets back on track, October 12, 2016 )
You will soon see work crews standing around utility poles, gazing upward. They’ll not only be checking the cables on those poles, but looking as well toward the future of broadband in western Massachusetts.
The long-awaited project to bring high-speed internet service to unserved homes and businesses in Berkshire and adjacent counties is once again on track. Last winter Gov. Baker put the project on hold and under review, after it had run off the rails. In the spring he appointed two new key executives at the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI), the agency responsible for the state’s participation. His mandate to them: get it moving.
To get started, tens of thousands of utility poles in the region must be surveyed. Is there enough room on each pole for a new fiber-optic cable, will the existing cables on a pole have to be moved to accommodate the new one, or is a new taller pole needed to provide the required space?
Since the summer, town representatives have been working with MBI to better understand the financial implications of building a fiber network in their towns and to demonstrate their eligibility […]
The WiredWest Board of Directors has unanimously approved a substantial revision to its structural framework in response to concerns expressed by some member towns and by the MBI (Massachusetts Broadband Institute). The changes in Plan A2, as the model is now called, address three specific areas: ownership of network assets, ability of the towns to withdraw from the cooperative and the management of outsourced services.
The simpliest way to understand Plan A2 is to compare the proposed network to the functioning of a single town network. In a stand-alone model, the single town MLP would outsource key services like network operations, ISP services, call centers, technical support, billing and around-the-clock maintenance. The town of Leverett is currently functioning in this manner and has developed an overview of their institutional, contractual and financial arrangements that provides an in-depth look at what’s involved. In addition, the MLP is also responsible for the administrative functions needed to negotiate with, select, manage, monitor and pay the private sector providers of those services. This is where Plan A2 comes into play. Since most towns have neither the administrative staff nor the expertise to handle the responsibilities of running a modern telecommunications network or […]
WiredWest: our cooperative solution for broadband internet in western Massachusetts
Get the Answers
Q. Why does our region need this kind of network?
Q: How long until high-speed internet gets to us?
Q. What type and level of service will be offered and how much will it cost residents for service?
Q. Why Fiber? Why not DSL, cable, satellite or wireless?