3 MA Towns Get State Internet Funding

Dec. 7, 2016
The Massachusetts towns of Alford, Otis and Warwick have been awarded grants totaling $1.9 million to finance the construction of high-speed Internet ...

The Massachusetts towns of Alford, Otis and Warwick have been awarded grants totaling $1.9 million to finance the construction of high-speed Internet networks. The grant funding, approved by the board of directors of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute at MassTech (MBI), is part of the state administration's effort to provide broadband access to more than 40 "Last Mile" towns in Massachusetts unserved by broadband Internet access.

"Since May, our administration has moved 16 communities forward on the path to broadband access," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "We are pleased with this progress and will continue to work diligently with every Last Mile community to assist municipalities in reaching their own vision for high-speed Internet access."

The MBI will allocate $288,775 in grant funding to Alford, and $1,145,975 to Otis. The two municipalities will pursue their Last Mile projects independently, overseeing the design, construction, and operation of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks. Each town's fiber network will pass every residence and business located on a public right of way.

Both Alford and Otis have completed the MBI's Last Mile Readiness Process, an effort launched in May 2016. Each municipality has achieved several key milestones, including voter approval of municipal financing for the town's share of project costs and the endorsement of the Massachusetts Division of Local Services on the municipal financing plan. The municipalities have also begun the initial construction process.

The MBI board also approved a grant of $450,000 to the town of Warwick to support the upgrade of a legacy, town-owned, wireless network. Warwick will oversee the design, construction and operation of the network upgrade. The total construction estimate for the project is $690,000, of which $450,000 will be paid for through the town's construction allocation under the Last Mile program, with the remaining $240,000 will be financed by the town of Warwick.

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