With the start of the new year, we want to thank your supporters and share with you our new plans for moving forward in 2017.
As you may know, in late 2015 Governor Baker placed a ‘pause’ on all state Last Mile Broadband projects. In May 2016 the Baker Administration lifted the ‘pause’ and named a new team to lead the effort. Since that time, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI, the state agency charged with broadband development to unserved towns) has been working to build individual town-owned and run networks through a newly-created Town Readiness process.
Our original plan, which was supported by MBI when you signed up for service, called for the WiredWest cooperative to own and operate a regional network on behalf of our member towns. MBI has since changed its policy and now insists that each town own its network infrastructure individually.
Since our inception in 2010, our vision has always been to work together on a regional basis to provide a cost-effective and sustainable fiber optic network bringing affordable broadband service to everyone. To comply with MBI policy, WiredWest has developed a new Regional Broadband Solution that will link individual town networks into a regional one by partnering with an experienced broadband provider to deliver services, and to operate and maintain the network on a regional basis. Efficiencies of this network allow it to be operated with significant savings and with other advantages over independent town-run networks.
WiredWest is finalizing a plan with Town Delegates and will be holding a workshop for town leaders on January 28th at the JFK Middle School in Northampton (100 Bridge Street). We are excited to be presenting our plan for a regionally operated and affordable fiber-to-the-home network that will be available to all interested western Massachusetts towns.
In the meantime, we invite you to continue visiting our redesigned website for updates, news, analysis and information.
Your WiredWest Team
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 the agency assigned the job of bringing broadband to dozens of unserved communities has too often changed its rules, frustrating dogged local efforts to end the digital dark ages.
“We’ve endured a constant state of flux,” said Howard Bronstein of Plainfield.
Peter Larkin, the MBI board chairman and former Pittsfield lawmaker, joined the institute’s deputy director, Edmund Donnelly, and field representative Bill Ennen at a head table.
For nearly two hours, they heard a litany of distress.
Among the toughest appraisals of the institute’s performance came from David Kulp of Ashfield, who leads that Franklin County town’s broadband committee.
By JIM LEVULIS, WAMC – Original post on WAMC.org
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 Massachusetts Broadband Institute.
WAMC spoke with Bob Labrie, a member of WiredWest’s executive committee, and Tim Newman, the group’s spokesman. Newman says the proposal calls for WiredWest to administer the regional internet network with private providers handling the operations.
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute did not respond to a request for comment on the plan.
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: Build your networks and let us take care of the rest.
“It’s going to save our town a lot of money in resources,” said Gayle Huntress of Shutesbury, a WiredWest leader who led the more than two-hour presentation at Northampton’s middle school. “We’re focused on solving this part”. Since everyone wants to save money, still they could get some great financial advice here and be able to have more resources later. If you’re planning to apply for a […]
WiredWest: our cooperative solution for broadband internet in western Massachusetts
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Q. When will we actually get broadband?
Q. Will subscribers have to keep their Verizon phone service to get WiredWest’s broadband service?
Q. Who controls the subscriber rates?
Q: How does MBI play into this?