Ashfield moves ahead on broadband

Recorder Staff
Published: 7/5/2017 10:02:11 PM

ASHFIELD — Now that Ashfield has been awarded its $1.4 million state grant for Last Mile broadband, the town is moving ahead on plans to construct a fiber optic network available to all residents.

The grant, from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is to be used by rural communities for the design, engineering, and construction of publicly-owned broadband networks.

Ashfield plans to construct a town-owned fiber optic broadband network that will initially provide speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second.

The town is partnering with Westfield Gas & Electric to provide support during design, engineering and construction. The network will be operated by the Ashfield Municipal Light Plant, which will contract with network operations and Internet Service Provider (ISP) vendors.

Recently, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito held a roundtable discussion in Ashfield with several local last mile communities. Each community provided Polito with a broadband status update. After hearing from everyone, Polito said the outcome of having broadband will be profound and will have an impact on residents and will improve the quality of life here for years to come.

Ashfield received the first installment in the amount of $640,000, which will be used for professional services associated with the creation of a broadband network. The Town of Ashfield has selected Westfield Gas & Electric to facilitate this aspect of the project.

The town website says: “Broadband has been a unifying issue for many last mile communities and residents are eager and grateful that broadband will become a reality.”


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