Advice for Towns

This section is frequently updated. Check back often for updates. (Last updated 6/24/2017)

Here you’ll find information and advice about MLP startup and operational considerations, how to get through MBI’s readiness process, how to finance your Last Mile project, technology and other decisions aimed at eventually linking individual town networks into a regionally operated network.

As a result of WiredWest’s advocacy, the Administration announced on April 3, 2017 that it would offer expedited grants to towns that wish to manage building their own networks in the full amount of their allocated funds with nothing held back for MBI. Westfield Gas and Electric (WG&E),  an MLP that already provides fiber broadband service in Westfield, is offering to manage building networks for towns. MLP’s may work together without the usual procurement process. This appears to be the most expeditious way to get networks built, however, towns may choose to continue working with MBI or to work with a different company to manage building their network. If you do go with WG&E to manage the building your network, we recommend that you do not contract with them directly for ISP and network operator services. That will better be handled via WiredWest to get the best rates, consolidated management, reduced risk in larger risk pool, etc.

Separately, WiredWest has created a plan to connect the individual town networks, once built, into a regional one for more efficient and lower cost operation. We will work with WG&E or other network builders that towns may hire to implement a regional design. For details, see Regional Broadband Solution Details.

Here is the status of towns as of 6/24/2017

Town Grant Status D/E/C WW MOU
Ashfield Grant Awarded WG&E
Becket Decision to apply
Blandford ?
Charlemont Grant Awarded WG&E
Chesterfield Grant Awarded
Colrain Grant Awarded WG&E
Cummington Grant Awarded WG&E
Goshen Applied
Heath Grant Awarded WG&E
Leyden Contract signed WG&E
Middlefield Undecided
New Ashford Applied WG&E
New Marlborough considering options
New Salem Grant Awarded WG&E
Peru Accepting Charter offer
Plainfield Contract signed WG&E YES
Rowe Contract signed WG&E YES
Shutesbury Contract signed WG&E YES
Washington Verbally approved
Wendell Applied
Windsor Contract signed WG&E YES
Worthington Considering options