Project to expand broadband access ready to go soon

BOSTON (WWLP) — An ambitious project to extend broadband internet to all of western Massachusetts is expected to be operational in a matter of months.

Broadband Internet networks will become operational in segments throughout western Massachusetts, and the first segments will come online in March.

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute announced that cities and towns from Springfield to Sandisfield will be among the first to come online. On Monday, the Institute will announce another 120 towns that will have broadband Internet access from April to June. 

Over the past year, the Institute has directed this progress through their main initiative, the MassBroadband 123 network. 

“This project is allowing us to connect over 1,200 community anchor institutions, and what I mean by that is schools, libraries, public safety and state office buildings,” said Judy Dumont, Director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.

Sen. Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield) says that he thinks the effort will have a great pay-off for the local economy.

“It's going to create jobs both in the build-out of the infrastructure, but it's going to create job long term by making western Mass a place where we can compete for 21st Century jobs. 

More than 1,000 miles of new fiber optic cable will be used to build these high speed internet networks.

More than 300,000 households and 40,000 businesses stand to benefit from these connection upgrades.

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