WiredWest continues to actively develop its plans in coordination with the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). WiredWest will continue to push hard on behalf of and in concert with our towns and citizens for this desperately needed project to move forward. Every household, business, organization and town without access to high-speed Internet access is suffering today, and robust, affordable and universally available broadband for our communities must remain a priority.
The WiredWest Negotiating Committee has worked successfully to build open lines of communication with the MBI over the last two months and have had numerous productive meetings. As the MBI works with the Baker administration, the WiredWest team continues the exhaustive due diligence process so we are all ready to move forward as soon as the pause has been lifted. WiredWest representatives remain in close contact with legislators and the MBI to monitor progress.
The Massachusetts Office of Administration & Finance is taking a close look at the $40 million last mile broadband allocation to ensure that state money is used wisely. We understand that the current “pause” is not related to WiredWest or on-going negotiations, but is a review of the entire last-mile project for all unserved towns. WiredWest welcomes the review as the Baker administration learns about the serious broadband access problem facing western Massachusetts and the responsible, local solution, supported by the taxpayers of WiredWest towns, and being developed by WiredWest and the MBI.
There is very strong local support, backed by $38 million in local bond authorizations to pay for 2/3rds of the cost of a last-mile solution. The proposed network addresses our region’s core values of affordability, sustainability, community control and ubiquitous coverage delivered by future-proof fiber-optic technology. This solution will create a multi-generational asset for our region that will sustain growth for decades to come. We would enthusiastically welcome the Baker administration’s support for this solution.