Westfield Gas & Electric will be receiving $10.2 million in grant funding to expand fiber based broadband in the western part of Massachusetts. The FCC okayed the move which will bring internet service to 12,400 households, reports the Greenfield Reporter.
Monies for the project will be distributed over the next ten years.
“Over a 10-year period, [Leyden, one of the recipient towns] would be getting about $250,000, or $25,000 a year,” said Leyden Broadband Committee Chair, Bob Ryan. “We’re very excited about it.”
Other communities which will benefit from the upgrade include Ashfield, Charlemont, Colrain, Heath, Leyden, New Salem, Rowe, Shutesbury and Wendell. Other towns receiving funding are: Alford, Blandford, Becket, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, New Ashford, Otis, Plainfield, Washington and Windsor. All nine towns are in rural Franklin County.
Celebrating the move, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker stated, “Our administration has been making significant progress toward delivering broadband access to the unserved and underserved residents in rural Massachusetts. We will continue to work with our municipalities and other partners to make these investments in reliable high-speed internet access and the quality of life for all residents.”