Regional Community Briefings to Begin January 29th
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MBI) today announced that the first segments of the new fiber-optic MassBroadband 123 network will be operational in March 2013. The MassBroadband 123 network will provide fiber-optic connectivity directly to 1,200 key facilities in over 120 western and central Massachusetts communities. These Community Anchor Institutions include schools, libraries, municipal buildings and public safety and health care facilities.
“Two and a half years ago, we set upon our mission to deploy the regional fiber network western and central Massachusetts so greatly needed,” said MBI Director, Judith Dumont. “We are now just months away from deploying a full middle-mile fiber backbone. We’re pleased with current progress, and look forward to briefing stakeholders in our upcoming community meetings.”
Today, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute also released a projected schedule and a color-coded map showing the month of initial operation for each segment. The MassBroadband 123 network will become operational in regional phases into the spring and summer as connections between the towns to the central hub in Springfield are completed.
“Broadband adoption across the Commonwealth continues to be an important component to Massachusetts’ economic growth and is part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s long-term economic development plan’s mission of empowering communities and regions to seek out new opportunities,” said Secretary Greg Bialecki. “By connecting towns in the western part of the state with broadband Internet, we will see new opportunities for small businesses to compete in the 21st Century economy.”
MassBroadband 123 is an open-access network, meaning that any provider can use it. To date, the network operator, Axia NGNetwork, has signed up 27 providers. Community Anchor Institutions may choose any one of them, or recruit an additional provider to use the network and provide telecommunications services.
The MBI will host a series of community meetings with Axia and area service providers starting later this month. These meetings are designed to provide regional network updates and answer questions about the start of network operations.
The first community meetings are slated for:
- January 29, 2013: Berkshire Community Center, Great Barrington, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
- January 30, 2013: Southwick Town Hall, Southwick, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
For more information about these or additional upcoming community meetings, visit the MBI website at www.massbroadband.org.