What is the status of our neighboring towns in their efforts to acquire broadband? If all of them decide to contract with Westfield Gas + Electric at the same time, will it pose a problem for Plainfield?
In western Massachusetts, 42 towns currently do not have broadband service. The options available to each of these towns has changed dramatically since late 2015 as the Commonwealth’s “Last Mile Broadband” effort has shifted: some towns have no viable broadband options, some have a few options, and some have only one option. Several of Plainfield’s immediate neighbors (Ashfield, Cummington, and Windsor) are pursuing financing and construction of town-owned broadband networks. Savoy is investigating its options, and Hawley is grappling with funding issues. We are all working together to share information, solve problems, and select solutions. WG+E is currently extending its fiber network to 40 neighborhoods in Westfield, each of which has about as many residents as all of Plainfield. The more towns that contract with WG+E at the same time as Plainfield, the greater the economies of scale we may be able to achieve in materials and construction procurement, and the more opportunities we will have for interconnection. WG+E has access to suppliers and fiber contractors nationwide, and there is ample capacity to build out any number of municipal networks in Massachusetts.
Appears in: Broadband Internet FAQs