Press Releases

Baker-Polito Administration Launches Programs to Boost Internet Connectivity

SPRINGFIELD – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced three new programs to boost internet connectivity statewide, including a subsidy program to assist job seekers in the MassHire system that are facing a technology barrier. In addition, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) at the MassTech Collaborative will expand a WiFi hotspot program statewide, delivering free high-speed access points to Gateway Cities, helping expand internet accessibility in areas hard-hit economically by the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs are part of the $774 million economic recovery plan announced by the Administration in October, which designated $9.2 million for an expansion of internet access programs. Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, administration officials, and private partners made the announcement during an event held at the Springfield Innovation Center.

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Baker-Polito Administration Extends Wireless Hotspot Program in Unserved Massachusetts Towns

The Baker-Polito Administration has officially extended the free wireless hotspot program launched in unserved Massachusetts towns in response to the COVID-19 public health pandemic. The existing outdoor hotspots will be extended to June 30, 2021, and in addition, the Commonwealth has offered 24 communities the option to add an indoor hotspot free of charge to provide critical connectivity over the winter months.

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Baker-Polito Administration Extends Wireless Hotspot Program in Unserved Massachusetts Towns

WESTBOROUGH – The Baker-Polito Administration has officially extended the free wireless hotspot program that has delivered public high-speed internet connections to residents and students in unserved Massachusetts towns, in response to the COVID-19 public health pandemic. The program, originally slated to end September 1st, will be extended through the end of 2020.

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Grant Awarded to Extend Broadband in Egremont & Monterey

WESTBOROUGH – The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) have approved a new grant to expand broadband coverage in the unserved towns of Egremont and Monterey, two of three remaining communities under the Commonwealth’s Last Mile program.

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New Program Expands Wireless Broadband Hubs in Unserved Massachusetts Towns

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) at the MassTech Collaborative and KCST USA, the operator of the Commonwealth-owned MassBroadband 123 fiber optic network, are working with local internet service providers (ISPs) to offer new Wifi hotspots to municipalities that lack broadband access. Built off of the MassBroadband 123 network, this new service offers each unserved community a temporary 250 Megabit per second wireless hotspot, free of any monthly charge. This will allow unserved communities that do not have a completed broadband project to increase wireless broadband access for residents and students impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

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Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates New Broadband Network in Princeton

PRINCETON – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today joined executives from Charter Communications, Inc., Princeton town officials and residents, state and federal officials, and executives from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) at MassTech Collaborative to celebrate the impact of the town’s new Charter-constructed broadband network. During a roundtable discussion with local leaders and residents, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito heard about the impact that the increased internet connectivity is having on the community, including improvements for small business owners, public safety, and education.

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Baker-Polito Administration Announces $10.2M Federal Award To Westfield Gas + Electric for Broadband Access in Western Mass

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that Westfield Gas & Electric (WG+E), a public utility supplying electric, natural gas, and high-speed internet service, has received a more than $10.2 million funding authorization from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand fiber-based broadband in 20 communities covering over 12,400 households in rural western Massachusetts. This funding represents the results of last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction thanks to efforts undertaken by the Baker-Polito Administration, Westfield Gas + Electric, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, the Commonwealth’s congressional delegation, and state and local leaders.

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Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Completion of Montgomery Broadband Network

MONTGOMERY, MASS. – Leaders from the MassTech Collaborative and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute at MassTech (MBI) joined citizens from Montgomery and executives from Comcast today to celebrate the official launch of the town’s new broadband network, a project constructed by Comcast with support from the Commonwealth’s Last Mile grant program.

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Commonwealth Photo Release - "Governor Baker and Lt Governor Polito Observe “Core Bore” in Blandford, Announce Supplemental Funding for Last Mile Program"

BLANDFORD — Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Senator Adam Hinds, Representative Smitty Pignatelli, and other local leaders to observe a “core bore,” the drilling required to replace outdated utility poles and deliver broadband internet. Following the demonstration, Governor Baker announced $5 million in supplemental funding through the Last Mile Infrastructure Grant program, which will cover roughly half the average cost of connecting homeowners to newly installed broadband networks in 21 eligible communities.

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Four-Town Network on Track to Close Digital Divide in Spring 2020

WESTBOROUGH, MASS. – WiValley-MA, Inc. (WiValley) has announced that the four-town wireless broadband network, funded by the Commonwealth’s Last Mile broadband program, is now on track to completion in the spring of 2020. Constructed by WiValley in partnership with OTELCO, the new internet service is closing the digital divide for business and residential customers in the Hilltowns of Florida, Hawley, Monroe, and Savoy.

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