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On Friday, Leverett Toasts the First of the ‘Last Mile’ Fiber Optic Networks in Western Massachusetts

in Broadband's Impact by

LEVERETT, Massachusetts, October 2, 2015 – The first segment of the “last mile” fiber optic network in Western Massachusetts will launch on Friday afternoon with a community event here featuring the president of the state senate, leading state broadband advocates, and an official from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Dubbed LeverettNet, the municipal network is the first last mile project built off of the MassBroadband 123 fiber-optic middle mile network.

MassBroadband 123 was funded by the Commerce Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program of the 2009 federal stimulus legislation. The middle-mile network brought fiber-optic connectivity to Leverett in early 2014.

Dozens of other towns in the region are planning to build additional fiber to the home last mile networks in their communities.

Several years in the making, the launch of the LeverettNet broadband network has been led by a dedicated group of volunteers, broadband committee members, and elected officials.

Those efforts resulted in the creation of the Leverett Municipal Light Plant, a unique entity under Massachusetts facilitating community broadband efforts. The Leverett Municipal Light Plant oversaw the town-wide approval, financing, contracting, and construction of the eventual network.

Among the speakers at the event, which will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Leverett Public Safety Complex, are:

  • Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst);
  • State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington);
  • Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development;
  • Peter d’Errico, Leverett Broadband Committee;
  • Pamela Goldberg, CEO, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative;
  • Eric Nakajima, Director, Massachusetts Broadband Institute; and
  • Sandeep Taxali, Broadband Development Officer, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

According to a press release issued by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, “the event is designed as a community-focused celebration to thank Leverett’s citizens for the critical support they have shown for this project over the years and to highlight the impact high-speed Internet will have on the town.

“Residents that previously relied on dial-up, satellite, or DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) technologies to access the Internet will now be served by a complete fiber-optic network capable of delivering connectivity speeds of 1 gigabit per second. Since the start of the municipal network’s construction, over 650 of 800 homes have signed up for service, an 80%-plus connection rate, which highlights the strong backing in the town.”

For further information, contact:

Brian Noyes, MBI/MassTech

(508) 870-0312 x293, noyes@masstech.org

Drew Clark is the Chairman of the Broadband Breakfast Club. He tracks the development of Gigabit Networks, broadband usage, the universal service fund and wireless policy @BroadbandCensus. He is also Of Counsel with the firm of Best Best & Krieger LLP, with offices in California and Washington, DC. He works with cities, special districts and private companies on planning, financing and coordinating efforts of the many partners necessary to construct broadband infrastructure and deploy “Smart City” applications. You can find him on LinkedIN and Twitter. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com and affiliated social media are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. His telecommunications-focused law firm, Drew Clark PLLC, works with cities, rural communities and state economic development entities to promote the benefits of internet connectivity. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

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