The once stalled effort from one of the best internet service providers in the country, Charter Communications®, to deliver high-speed broadband internet service to several rural communities in Massachusetts, finally saw some promising progress. In a recent announcement, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute announced that about five towns in Worcester and Berkshire country have signed a deal with Charter®.
Reports indicate that the telecom giant will be building cable networks in Tyringham, Princeton, Peru, Hancock, and Egremont shortly. Charter® will be using a $4,420,000 state grant for building the proposed networks, which means that local taxes will not be raised from the residents.
The officials from Charter Communications® hinted that the new network will reach approximately 3,600 businesses and homes. They also added that the broadband internet speeds would begin at a base level of 60 megabits per second. Charter® has also agreed to complete the proposed project within one year but they asserted they will need the issuance of all essential authorizations and permits including the pole attachment rights.
The State Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru said, “As the only legislator in the state who currently lives in a home without access to high-speed internet, I couldn’t be more excited for my hometown of Peru to be on the verge of full connectivity.” He also added that access to a high-speed internet service from one of the fastest internet providers in U.S. would result in a significant improvement in the quality of life and economy in the rural areas of Western Massachusetts.
This is actually the second grant given to Charter Communications® under the Last Mile program of the state. The telecom company had earlier received an MBI’s award for supporting the construction of cable networks in West Stockbridge, Lanesborough, and Hinsdale. This award was made under the Private Sector Request for Proposals of MI, which is actually a part of the effort of Baker-Polito administration for bridging the digital divide in 9 partially served towns and 44 unserved towns.
In a Press release, the MBI stated that 46 out of the total 53 communities “have either completed a Last Mile project; have received a Last Mile grant for an approved project; or are considering a viable option to close the broadband gap.” It seems that Charter® is determined to bring broadband services to several rural areas shortly.