Colrain residents invited to learn about town-owned broadband

Staff Writer
Published: 3/18/2021 3:52:21 PM

COLRAIN — An information session on March 24 will update residents on the status of Colrain’s broadband network, which recently reached about 600 subscriptions — about 70 percent of all possible household connections in town.

The information session will be held virtually starting at 6 p.m. The meeting can be accessed by going to Participants can also dial in by phone at 617-865-3953. The Conference ID is 130 952 823#.

The town is working with Whip City Fiber, a company owned by Westfield Gas & Electric, to build its fiber-optic network. Town Administrator and Municipal Light Plant (MLP) Co-Manager Kevin Fox said the informational session will be led by Westfield Gas & Electric.

“For the town’s part, this is an effort to get people who haven’t signed up yet to want to sign up via an informational push, as well as provide more information to those who have already signed up,” Fox said.

Residents have likely seen the Sertex and Triwire trucks and crews around town. These are the companies hired to construct Colrain’s town-owned broadband network. According to an informational flier, this “state-of-the-art” fiber-optic network will allow residents to access internet with speeds and reliability “far superior to Verizon’s DSL or any satellite dish service ... and at a reasonable cost.” It will allow for download and upload speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second.

Because Colrain will own the network, customers won’t need to deal with national providers, but rather local and regional contacts. The cost for service is $89 a month, with no equipment charges.

Last he checked, Fox said the broadband service was pushing 600 subscription sign-ups, which equates to about 70 percent of all households in Colrain. With this sign-up rate, the town is aiming for the network to be financially self-sustaining, with subscription rates able to cover the operating costs. Fox said the fiscal year 2021 budget for the project was based on a 50 percent “take rate” of residents signing up, which was reached, and the fiscal year 2022 budget — which has not yet been presented to residents — is based on a 63 to 70 percent sign-up rate.

To sign up for Colrain’s broadband service, visit or call 833-923-2255. Customer service representatives at Whip City Fiber can answer questions regarding the application process, and will contact customers to schedule installation appointments when they are available.

Installation crews are expected to be active in Colrain through mid-summer, so the informational flier advises residents to sign up soon if they are interested. Installations will take longer, and may cost more, after Whip City Fiber completes the main installation and is not regularly in town.

More information can be found at

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-930-4579.


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