January 2019

Keeping Prices Low for Small Town Broadband Networks

January 4th, 2019|News, Stories, Top Stories, Get the Latest Info|

As towns near completion of building our networks, we must consider how we're going to manage operating them, and what to charge customers in order to meet expenses. Often the focus is on hiring an Internet Service Provider (ISP) with the lowest price. But the ISP cost turns out to be only a small part [...]

June 2018

WiredWest Is Town’s Cheaper Operator For Broadband, Say Consultants

June 23rd, 2018|News, Stories, Top Stories, Get the Latest Info|

“WiredWest Is Town’s Cheaper Operator For Broadband, Say Consultants” By Katie Nolan Montague Reporter April 19, 2018 WENDELL - On Tuesday night, Jim Crowley of Holyoke Gas and Electric (HG&E) and Brian Richards of PineRidge Consulting presented a joint Wendell broadband committee and selectboard meeting with a comparison of costs for the town to operate a broadband network as an independent operator, or as a member of the WiredWest regional cooperative. The consultants considered administrative costs such as insurance, electrical power for the network electronic equipment, pole licensing, accounting, audits, legal fees, maintenance of the cables and other outdoor equipment, internet service provider (ISP) subscriber fees, and network backhaul (high bandwidth connection from the town’s electronic operation location to their wholesale ISP). The consultants’ report concluded that “Over time, as operator of a regional cooperative network, WiredWest could offer a better value to all members towns, as opposed to operating their network independently.” Because the consultants’ presentation and committee and citizen questions continued from 7pm until after 9pm, the joint meeting tabled all of its other agenda items, including item #9, “Possibility of revoting Town authorization of Broadband project,” until Tuesday, April 24 at 7pm. Approximately a dozen citizens attended the meeting, including Robbie Leppzer, author of an open letter to the selectboard affirming “strong support for building a municipally-owned broadband network in Wendell,” and other signers of this letter. Here is a link to download the full report (PDF - 1 MB): www.turningtide.com/…/Comparison_of_Broadband_Operational_M…

December 2017

Why Choose the Coop Approach to Managing Town Owned Networks?

December 8th, 2017|News, Stories, Top Stories, Get the Latest Info|

Some town officials think of WiredWest as a “Them” like another service provider trying to sell something. WiredWest is “Us.” It’s an approach to procuring services and managing our broadband networks as a team rather than individually. Now that we are nearing the point of putting networks into service, we have a choice of whether [...]

April 2017

WiredWest Broadband Solution Workshop – January 28, 2017

April 2nd, 2017|News, Stories, Top Stories, Get the Latest Info|

This event was designed for members of Select Boards, Broadband Committees and Finance Committees to familiarize them with the details of the newly designed regional operations plan offered by WiredWest in order to weigh it against other options. The plan presented covers operations of town networks after they are built. Since the Last Mile policy [...]

March 2017

Bringing Broadband to Rural Massachusetts

March 31st, 2017|Notes From the Underserved, Get the Latest Info|

Who is WiredWest? Massachusetts laws allow towns to own and operate utility companies called Municipal Light Plants (MLPs). WiredWest is a Cooperative of town MLPs joining together for operational efficiencies and cost savings. The coop is governed by delegates from the member towns for the purpose of delivering high quality broadband service to all residents [...]

February 2017

WGBY Connection Point Interview with WiredWest Feb-27-2017

February 28th, 2017|News, Stories, Get the Latest Info|

Bob Labrie and Tim Newman answer questions about WiredWest's Regional Broadband Solution on WGBY's Connecting Point.

Towns Express Overwhelming Support for WiredWest and WG&E at MBI PP Open Meeting

February 26th, 2017|News, Stories, Notes From the Underserved, Get the Latest Info|

On February, 16, 2017 the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) held an open meeting to hear from MBI town designees and local Select board members about their thoughts regarding the results of the Private Provider RFP. The meeting took place at the Worthington, Massachusetts Town Hall. Select board members and designees wishing to speak were asked [...]

Back regional broadband, towns tell MBI panel

February 17th, 2017|News, Top Stories, Get the Latest Info|

By Larry Parnass, Reprinted from The Berkshire Eagle WORTHINGTON — Broadband advocates from Berkshire County and beyond pressed Thursday for the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to free up funding, speed decision-making and support regional solutions to a problem they say impairs civic life. Their sometimes sharply worded remarks took frequent aim at the MBI itself, saying [...]

January 2017

WiredWest Offers New Proposal For Western Mass. Broadband

January 31st, 2017|News, Top Stories, Get the Latest Info|

By JIM LEVULIS, WAMC - Original post on WAMC.org https://cpa.ds.npr.org/wamc/audio/2017/01/wiredwestweb.mp3 Efforts to bring broadband internet to underserved areas of rural, western Massachusetts have been ongoing for more than a decade. Now the regional cooperative WiredWest has a new proposal. It comes after Governor Charlie Baker’s administration shook up and reviewed the efforts of the [...]

WiredWest offers broadband operations

January 28th, 2017|News, Top Stories, Get the Latest Info|

by Larry Parnass - The Berkshire Eagle Read full story NORTHAMPTON — Rather than build and run a sprawling regional broadband system, a nonprofit cooperative now seeks to fill a narrower but critical role for towns fighting to obtain fast internet connections. WiredWest leaders made this case Saturday to municipal officials from across Western Massachusetts: [...]