BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Broadband Institute has been named the Broadband Organization of the Year by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), a major, national voice connecting local government issues and the public interest with national-level policy makers.
The Patrick/Murray Administration and the state legislature created the Institute in 2008 with the mission to bring affordable, high-speed broadband Internet access to all residents and businesses across the Commonwealth.
"I am proud of our efforts and investments in innovation that are closing the digital divide to ensure every resident and business has access to affordable, high-speed broadband," said Governor Deval Patrick. "This honor is great recognition of the work Massachusetts Broadband Initiative has done to date and inspiration for us to finish the work remaining."
In 2010 the Institute won a $45 million federal grant to build the 1,300 mile MassBroadband 123 fiber-optic network directly connecting to over 1,200 community facilities like schools, libraries and public safety facilities in 120+ western and central communities. The network is on schedule to be fully operational in June 2013.
"The work underway in Massachusetts to expand and improve broadband access is truly a collaboration", said Pamela Goldberg, CEO of Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which houses the Institute. "All of our partners share in this honor and we thank the communities, the utility companies and the service providers for their support and commitment to bringing broadband to every corner of the state."
The award also acknowledges the Institute's efforts to promote broadband adoption by launching MassVetsAdvisor.org, a website developed to provide better on-line access to services, benefits and information for the veterans' community.
"Our challenge is not just limited to expanding broadband access, but also to improving digital literacy and computer skills so everyone can realize the benefits of the Internet," said Institute Director, Judith Dumont. "We are proud of the all the work we are doing to close the digital divide in the Commonwealth from the MassBroadband 123 network build to MassVetsAdvisor and our other adoption programs. We are honored to receive this recognition."
"We are thrilled to recognize such a broad spectrum of people, communities, and organizations that lead the nation in advocating for and improving government and public options in broadband technology," said Joanne Hovis, president of the NATOA Board of Directors. "These pioneers have distinguished themselves in their extraordinary efforts, achievements and innovation in community-based approaches to broadband."
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is the primary public organization responsible for advancing the innovation economy in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to keep Massachusetts on the forefront of innovation for the purpose of generating more high-paying jobs, higher productivity, greater economic wealth and improved social welfare. The Massachusetts Broadband Institute, a division of MassTech, is working to extend affordable high-speed Internet access to all homes, businesses, schools, libraries, medical facilities, government offices and other public places across the Commonwealth.