Leverett, Massachusetts' broadband initiative has moved to the next phase in bringing fiber to residents. The town selectboard recently decided on a bidder to build the community owned network. G4S designed the network and also works with the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) as it brings a middle mile fiber network to towns across the western half of the state [PDF of service area].
An article in The Recorder alerted us to the development. Readers will recall that Leverett townspeople voted to ok a modest property tax increase as a way to help finance the ftth build out. From the article:
Indeed, after years of trying to convince private business to develop and offer high-speed telecommunication service in rural western Massachusetts, Leverett’s first-of-its kind network is being built with the help of a $40 million state bond, $47 million in federal stimulus funding and the town’s willingness to borrow to build infrastructure to attract service.
D’Errico said the cost of the project should be lower than $300 a year per median $278,000 property owner over 20 years.
...D’Errico said the $300 annual tax addition for the median value property is likely far lower than what residents are paying for their telephone, satellite dishes and cable service connections, and that having the town own the infrastructure likely means that the service contracts should also be a fraction of what they would cost otherwise.
Before construction can start, utility poles will need to be made ready for placement of the fiber optic cable. While this stage of the prep work is expected to take up to six months, hanging the cable would only take about three months.
Leverett is inspiring other Massachusetts communities, who also want to own the infrastructure that will allow them to...Read more