Governor Deval Patrick in Northampton today announced a new partnership between the Massachusetts Broadband Institute and the Executive Office of Transportation to bring broadband to unserved and underserved communities in Western Massachusetts. Joined by elected leaders, Transportation Secretary James Aloisi, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, MassHighway Commissioner Luisa Paiewonsky, and other administration officials at the MassHighway District 2 office, the Governor said $4.3 million in state bond funds will help build out broadband networks to enhance service for small businesses, schools and individuals and improve security and transportation operations in the area.
The new partnership builds on the existing MassHighway project, which has consisted of six 1.25” fiber-optic conduits that run from the Connecticut border 50 miles up I-91 to 4.56 miles south of the Vermont border. The Governor’s investment extends the conduits up the additional 4.56 miles to the Vermont border. Completing these last five miles will enable collaboration across state borders in a variety of areas, including public safety, education, e-health and access to Internet2.
Two conduits will be used by MassHighway for their Intelligent Traffic System. The other four conduits, reserved for economic development and the build out of broadband networks in Western Massachusetts, will be leased by the MBI, which will own the fiber placed in one of the conduits and lease the other three for future development.
Broadband infrastructure investments are critical components of Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery. Learn more here.
Learn more about the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.