Municipal-provided broadband wins big at Greenfield polls

Last modified: 11/10/2015 2:32:21 PM
GREENFIELD — Voters have spoken — Give us municipal-provided broadband.

In a 3,287-696 vote on Tuesday, voters passed a nonbinding ballot referendum that sent a message to Mayor William Martin, who was re-elected to a third term, to create a nonprofit that will provide a hybrid fiber-wireless broadband network throughout the entire town by the end of 2016.

Forty percent, or 4,451, of Greenfield’s 11,111 voters turned out in Tuesday’s annual town meeting.

It appears voters like Martin’s plan to bring high-speed Internet, at a lower cost than people are paying now through commercial vendors.

Martin has promised the installment of a 60-mile network, which will begin by the first of the year.

According to Martin, the project will go out to bid shortly after Nov. 3 and construction will begin by early January.

The optional service will be turned on as it is installed, so everyone won’t have to wait an entire year for all 60 miles of network to be constructed.

The project is expected to be engineered to employ leading-edge technology, which will replace antiquated legacy telephone and cable networks that residents and businesses currently rely on.

The goal of the project is to improve the business climate and quality of life in Greenfield.

The entire network is expected to cost about $5 million, which will be borrowed and paid back with revenues from users.

The townwide system will be built on a 10-gigabit-per-second backbone.

The municipal broadband deployment plan will not impose any new taxes on Greenfield residents or business owners, Martin has said.

You can reach Anita Fritz at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 280.


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