Home » Broadband Speed »Community Networks »Public Policy & Gov't »Rural Broadband »Video » Currently Reading:

Leverett, Mass. Fed Up With Poor Broadband; Town Wants Its Own Gigabit Network

Phillip Dampier April 12, 2012 Broadband Speed, Community Networks, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband, Video 1 Comment

Downtown Leverett (Courtesy: Town of Leverett)

Life in Leverett, Mass. could get a lot faster as the community considers entering the 21st century by bringing high speed gigabit broadband to town.

For years, residents have had three relatively slow choices for Internet access: dial-up, wireless or satellite-delivered service.  Verizon and cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which have systems in western Massachusetts, have largely ignored Leverett’s need for speed.

Now the town is considering building its own fiber-to-the-home network to reach every home in Leverett starting in 2014.  The proposed $3.6 million network will also offer residents cable television and phone service — helpful upgrades in the western half of Massachusetts where Verizon has allowed their landline network to degrade to conditions declared intolerable by the state Department of Telecommunications.  Last year, the state agency ordered Verizon to assess and repair its landline network in almost 100 communities in the western half of the state.

Town officials will introduce their plans for the new municipal broadband network at a public meeting April 28.  The community would borrow the money to construct the network, paying it off over 20 years and outsourcing its construction and maintenance to outside companies.

The town originally planned a fiber-to-the-neighborhood network similar to AT&T U-verse, but quickly decided the benefits of a true fiber-to-the-home network were worth the extra investment.

Unlike some other community-owned networks, Leverett will raise taxes on local residents to cover the cost of the service, but Selectman Peter d’Errico says it will save most residents money if they currently pay a satellite provider for broadband service. Research shows the largest majority of Leverett residents get broadband from satellite providers.

“It will be a little more on their tax bill and a lot less on their Internet bill, so overall they will pay less,” d’Errico told the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

d’Errico added the local community is done waiting for private companies to deliver modern telecommunications services in Leverett.  Those companies have repeatedly told town officials there isn’t enough profit or return on investment to justify expanding broadband in rural communities.

Leverett hopes to serve as a template to more than 40 other western Massachusetts communities who belong to WiredWest, a consortium of similarly-situated towns working together to build a regional broadband network.  Leverett’s network would leverage the Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s 1,300 “middle mile” fiber backbone network that is working its way through 123 western and central Massachusetts towns.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/WGGB Springfield Internet Connection in Leverett 4-11-12.mp4

WGGB in Springfield previews Leverett’s efforts for better broadband. Big commercial providers ignore the community so now they want to provide service themselves.  (2 minutes)

Share

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Jordan Kratz says:

    http://wh.gov/U19
    Sing my Petition and help stop CISPA
    Let us all try to stop this Atrocious intrusion of our Privacy and yet another attempt to Censor The Internet !!
    Please tell as many as you can and call Washington and your Reps.
    Jordan Maine’s Oldest Punk Warned you SOPA/PIPA Would be back.
    Now we must work to try and stop this latest assault on our Freedom and the Freedom of The Internet !!!
    Corporations Are Not People







Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • Kim Kardashian sex tape: For newest news you have to go to see web and on the web I found this web site as a most excellent web page for newest updates....
  • desktop computers: Good post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Ap...
  • Phillip Dampier: Thanks for alerting me. I've corrected it....
  • Pua Ford: Hartford, Colorado should be Hartford, Connecticut, where Pedro Segara is mayor....
  • Yvonne: Please, someone smarter than I, figure out how to "Market Basket" these people. This is "Big Brother" in reality. What happened to controlling monopol...
  • baceba: Unbelievable! Comcast has the WORST service for cable television AND internet. The only customers they have are HOSTAGES to a monopoly! Why don't t...
  • elfonblog: It hit us here in Austin TX. It looked like a DNS outage... but I was using Google DNS. Routing was NOT down... I could still access a selection of we...
  • Joe Porter: To be fair, do we know it was in fact "one technician" that caused the issue?...
  • Milan In Austin: I'm surprised that Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell is supporting the TWC/Comcast merger. Leffingwell was a proponent of bringing Google Fiber to Austin. ...
  • elfonblog: Oh Oh Oh, there's mine! Ole Lee L effing better well stop playing games. I should have begun gloating about my Google Fiber months ago. I did get a ts...
  • Mcfly1391: Nelson Parker: at 20:30:36 Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable Internet technical support. My name is Nelson Parker and I would be happy to he...
  • Dylan “BigD-257” Smith: Even though they say you can watch on two devices at the same time, I can still only watch on one! And my streaming plan allows for two devices simult...

Your Account: