Spring construction planned for Leverett broadband network

Construction of the network is expected to begin in April or May with completion by the end of the year.

In advance of that, an information sheet distributed to town residents details a number of steps both indoors and outdoors that will make property ready for the new connection.

Outdoors, the fiber optic cables will be run from the road to an optical network terminal mounted on the outside of each house. The cables will be connected either aerially or underground, depending on how each house is equipped.

Those who will receive aerial connections are being asked to trim back any tree branches that could interfere with cables; those with underground connections are being asked to temporarily remove any obstructions — such as flower beds or walkways — that could hinder cable installation.

According to the sheet, about half of the town’s residences have aerial cable service with conduits, another quarter have underground connections with conduits and the rest have utility cables buried directly in the ground with no conduit. Those without a conduit will have one installed by the town’s network installation contractor, Millennium Communications Group of East Hanover, N.J.

Inside, residents should begin setting up any home-networking equipment that they will need, such as routers and Ethernet cables. According to Broadband Committee member Peter d’Errico, the installation is in the “make ready” phase, in which Verizon and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. are surveying and preparing the town’s utility poles to be fitted with fiber optic cables. The committee is also in the process of interviewing and evaluating potential Internet service providers, he said.

When completed, the project will bring high-speed Internet access to the town, rather than the dial-up and satellite connections needed now.

The information sheet will be published in the town’s upcoming newsletter and is posted on the town’s website.

For more information, contact Town Administrator Margie McGinnis at townadministrator@leverett.ma.us or at 548-9699.

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