Six Massachusetts Towns Win Grants to Build Municipal Broadband Networks
For municipalities building out their own broadband networks, the cost can be very steep and beyond their financial resources. Public grants can prove vital in building out these networks—for example, the state of Massachusetts awarded $4.6 million to six western Massachusetts towns to build out their towns’ broadband networks, reports Mass Live.
The grant comes from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, which was created in 2008, by then-Gov. Deval Patrick to spur wireless deployment across The Bay State. After murmurs from towns regarding the slow delivery of funds, current Gov. Charlie Baker restructured the institute to speed the allocation of funds.
The restructuring of the program, which is now overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, was a “direct response to the urgent requests we heard to move this important project forward,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito told Mass Live.
The grants will pay for a portion of the town’s municipal broadband networks, with the remainder of the costs coming from borrowed moneys. Below is a list of the towns that received grants, the monetary amount received and the total estimated cost of the broadband networks:
Ashfield: $1,410,000 for an estimated $3.7 million network
Leyden: $680,000 for an estimated $1.75 million network
Mount Washington: $222,000 for an estimated $1.25 million network
Plainfield: $650,000 for an estimated $1.78 million network
Shutesbury: $870,000 for an estimated $2.58 million network
Windsor – $830,000 for an estimated $2.19 million network