January 4, 2019

Massachusetts town sees own broadband as economic development attraction

Institute for Local Self Reliance - Ninety miles west of Boston, the small town of South Hadley, Massachusetts, will soon have a new, municipal option for Internet access. In October, the South Hadley Electric Light Department  Board of Commissioners unanimously approved plans to build a Fiber-to-the-Home  network throughout the town of 17,000. The network would bring high-speed fiber connectivity to South Hadley businesses and residents, who can currently choose between Comcast and Verizon for Internet access, while also enabling the municipal electric utility to implement smart grid technologies.

.... A community fiber network would also help the town attract and retain businesses as well as improve quality of life for residents. At the board meeting, Chairman Gregory Dubreuil commented, “It will be of great benefit to the citizens of the community. It will . . . make [South Hadley] a better, more attractive place for economic development.”

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