Advice for Towns

This section is frequently updated. Check back often for updates. (Last updated 5/25/2017)

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 grant status of towns as of 5/25/2017

Town Have you
requested the forms?
Grant Status Are you considering other options?
Ashfield YES GRANT AWARDED YES
Becket YES YES
Blandford YES ? NO
Charlemont YES  GRANT AWARDED NO
Chesterfield YES Don’t know NO
Colrain YES  GRANT AWARDED NO
Cummington YES  GRANT AWARDED NO
Goshen NO NO
Heath YES GRANT AWARDED YES
Leyden YES GRANT AWARDED YES
Middlefield NO NO
New Ashford YES NO
New Marlborough NO YES
New Salem YES GRANT AWARDED NO
Peru NO YES
Plainfield YES GRANT AWARDED NO
Rowe YES GRANT AWARDED NO
Shutesbury YES GRANT AWARDED NO
Washington YES 4/25? NO
Wendell YES NO
Windsor YES GRANT AWARDED YES
Worthington NO YES