Important Clarifications for WiredWest Towns Regarding Service on the Massachusetts Broadband Institute Network

WiredWest has received a number of inquiries about service on the state’s fiber-optic network, MBI 123, which is lighting up in Western Massachusetts beginning this March.

The MBI 123 middle-mile network was built to serve as wholesale backhaul for last-mile networks and to connect Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs). It will not serve homes and businesses directly.

The MBI’s fiber is similar to a high-voltage power line, in that getting fiber-optic connectivity to homes and businesses from the MBI network will require a separate, last-mile distribution network. Even if the MBI network passes by your home or business, access will only be available to you after routing through a last-mile fiber network which would wire fiber back to your premises.

A last mile fiber network typically distributes connectivity to users via centrally-located facilities, where the necessary equipment can be placed in a secure, protected area with backup power. In WiredWest’s case, those facilities would be located in most town centers.

The MBI 123 network will be offering service to CAIs, which can include your town hall, library, police and fire stations, public schools and colleges, and health care facilities. Most public libraries offer free wireless access, so residents can utilize the MBI 123 network at their local library.

This is another reason the WiredWest network is critical for our communities. The state has created a state-of-the-art fiber-optic highway in our region. Now it’s up to us to build the last-mile “off-ramps,” creating a robust network from end-to-end that finally connects the unconnected, and provides our citizens with access to affordable, reliable and high-capacity broadband.

The best way you can help WiredWest is by completing a Support Card, indicating you would be interested in taking service on the WiredWest network once it’s available.

For more information on the status of the WiredWest project, please see the most recent update here.

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