Pittsfield, MA – After an agreement announced Wednesday, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute - or MBI's - MassBroadband 123 network will be able to lease Boxborough-based company Lightower Fiber Networks's existing cables to bring it's signal out to Boston, where a major New England Internet hub is located. MBI Director Judy Dumont explains
The key word here is redundancy - to ensure the new fiber optic network's service throughout Western Massachusetts will avoid interruptions - two separate pathways will be run from MassBroadband 123 to Boston. Dumont again.
The MassBroadband 123 network will serve as a 1,000 backbone for new fiber optic internet in Western Massachusetts. The fiber optic cable will provide faster speed and much higher amounts of data to be transferred at once than a standard phone-line or existing DSL network. The first phases of the project involve over 30,000 utility poles across the state to be adjusted to allow the installation of the new cable. As more poles are adjusted by service providers and utility companies, the fiber optic network can come in behind and be installed. This phase - or middle mile - of the MassBroadband Backbone will be completed in 2013.
State Representative Gail Cariddi stated that in the future work will need to stay focused on building the infrastructure to connect cities and towns to the network in what's called the last mile of the project.
WiredWest is an organization working with cities and towns to support the last-mile connections by communicating with the service providers, and by working with the MBI to determine costs and establish business plans. Monica Webb, Executive Committee Chair of Wired West explains
The agreement between the MBI and Lightower is an important step in the Patrick-Murray Administration's pledge to bring more broadband access to Western Massachusetts, since the Broadband Act was signed into law in 2008. The project's completion will ensure that Western Massachusetts residents will be able to compete with the same communication capabilities as residents of Eastern Massachusetts