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

Monday, August 24, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

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

Extends 26 Wireless Sites to End of 2020 in Response to COVID-19

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.

The program, announced in April by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute at MassTech (MBI) and KCST USA, the operator of the Commonwealth-owned MassBroadband 123 fiber optic network, has launched public hotspots in 26 communities that lack high-speed internet connectivity, providing a 250 Megabit per second wireless hotspot, free of any monthly charge to towns or residents. The sites were connected with the active support of several regional internet service providers (ISPs), including AccessPlus, Crocker Communications, and Westfield Gas+Electric (WG+E).

A current list of hotspot sites is available on MBI’s website and is included below. Each site will provide residents with instructions on how to access the hotspots. Residents who use these hotspots are urged to follow social distancing protocols in accordance with the guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

TOWN

LOCATION

ADDRESS

PROVIDER

Ashfield

Belding Memorial Library

344 Main Street

WG+E

Becket

Town Hall

557 Main Street

WG+E

Blandford

Town Hall

1 Russell Stage Road

WG+E

Charlemont

Hawlemont Regional School

10 School Street

WG+E

Chesterfield

Town Offices

422 Main Road

WG+E

Colrain

Library

12 Main Road

WG+E

Cummington

Town Hall

33 Main Street

Crocker Communications

Florida

Senior Center

367 Mohawk Trail

Access Plus

Goshen

Town Office

40 Main Street

WG+E

Hancock

Elementary School

3080 Hancock Road

Crocker Communications

Hawley

Town Offices

8 Pudding Hollow Road

Access Plus

Heath

Former Heath Elementary School

18 Jacobs Road

WG+E

Leyden

School/Town Office

7 Brattleboro Road

WG+E

Monroe

Town Offices 

3C School Street

Access Plus

New Braintree

Leroy Pollard Memorial Library

45 Memorial Drive

Crocker Communications

New Marlborough

Library

1 Mill River-Gt. Barrington Road

Crocker Communications

New Salem

Swift River School

201 Wendell Road

WG+E

Petersham

Town Offices

3 South Main Street

Crocker Communications

Sandisfield

Town Hall

66 Sandisfield Road

Crocker Communications

Savoy

Town Hall

720 Main Road

Access Plus

Tolland

Town Hall

241 W Granville Rd

Crocker Communications

Warwick

Warwick Community School 

41 Winchester Road

Access Plus

Washington

Town Hall

8 Summit Hill Road

WG+E

Wendell

Town Offices

9 Morse Village Road

WG+E

Windsor

Town Hall

1890 Route 9 (Berkshire Trail)

WG+E

Worthington

R.H. Conwell Elementary

147 Huntington Road

Crocker Communications

The MBI and KCST worked with ISPs to offer the new wireless hotspots. The ISPs worked with each community to establish the hotspot at a public community anchor institution, such as town halls, libraries, and schools. These facilities are connected to MassBroadband 123, the 1,200 mile fiber-optic network launched in 2014 with federal and state support. 
 
Progress continues on efforts to extend high-speed connectivity in unserved communities, projects which have been supported by over $55 million in direct grants from the Commonwealth's Last Mile program. Of the 53 communities in the program, 21 now have completed projects, delivering broadband access to an estimated 18,000 citizens. Projects are nearing completion in another 11 communities, with service rolling out to residents and businesses by the end of 2020.

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About the Massachusetts Broadband Institute

A division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) is working to extend high-speed Internet access to homes, businesses, schools, libraries, medical facilities, government offices, and other public places across the Commonwealth. Learn more at https://broadband.masstech.org.