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Letter: WiredWest is ‘local’

In his March 12 letter, Hussain Hamdan makes assumptions about how WiredWest will maintain and repair its fiber-optic cables.

He refers to WiredWest as a “possibly non-local company,” an odd way to put it. He could have discovered at www.wiredwest.net that WiredWest is actually a cooperative and could not be more local, its members being 42 western Massachusetts towns, including my town of Rowe and his town of Hawley. Management of the cooperative is the responsibility of its executive director and an executive committee elected from and by the board of directors, made up of representatives from member towns.

The proposed WiredWest network is a complex operation and the business plan encompasses all the construction, operational and financial considerations required to sustain such an enterprise. Planning has included significant participation from professionals in the field, including WiredWest’s Executive Director David Epstein, who is also chairman of the board of the Academy at Charlemont, and who has many years of starting up, operating and growing internet service businesses and telecommunications companies in the Northeast.

WiredWest is well aware of the challenges of serving a large territory from Royalston in the northeast to Egremont in southwest. The business plan includes maintenance crews using locally based service vehicles manned either by WiredWest employees or by contractors specializing in providing such services.

It’s also important to note that networks in the Northeast transitioning from copper to fiber have reduced their maintenance costs.

The WiredWest board meets about once a month in a public meeting posted on its website. We invite Mr. Hamdan to attend any of those meetings and learn more about WiredWest. I’m confident he will conclude that WiredWest is the best, if not the only, and certainly the most “local” option for bringing broadband to unserved towns in western Mass.

NOEL ABBOTT

Rowe Selectman

and WiredWest board of directors member

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