Expanding Wireless Broadband Hubs in Unserved Communities

Massachusetts and KCST Extend Wifi Hotspots to Assist COVID-19 Response

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute at MassTech and KCST have worked with local internet service providers (ISPs) to offer Wifi hotspots to unserved municipalities that lack broadband access. This program was established in April 2020 and the existing outdoor hotspots will be extended up to June 30, 2021. In addition, MBI has offered eligible communities the option to add an indoor hotspot free of charge to provide critical connectivity over the winter months.

  • There are currently 25 active outdoor Wifi sites that have been established through this program – full list below. Those marked with an asterisk (*) indicate that their participation in the program ends January 31, 2021.
  • These access points build off of the Commonwealth-owned MassBroadband 123 fiber-optic network. Each hotspot has been established at one of the community anchor institutions (CAIs) connected to the 1,200 mile fiber network in 2014.
  • Each of the communities listed below has a temporary 250 Megabit per second (Mbps) wireless hotspot, which will allow them to increase wireless broadband access for residents and students impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Our thanks to KCST USA, town leaders and the ISPs – Access Plus, Crocker, Westfield Gas+Electric – for their help launching and maintaining these sites.

MBI expects that each community will provide residents with instructions on how to access the hotspots. 

PLEASE NOTE: It is critical that citizens who use these hotspots follow social distancing protocols in accordance with the guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

ACTIVE Wifi Hotspot Locations (this list will be updated as new indoor hotspot sites are established)

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
Florida Senior Center 367 Mohawk Trail Access Plus
Goshen Town Office 40 Main Street WG+E
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

New Marlborough 

Library 1 Mill River-Gt. Barrington Road Crocker
New Salem Swift River School 201 Wendell Road WG+E
Petersham* Town Offices 3 South Main Street Crocker

Sandisfield

Town Hall 66 Sandisfield Road Crocker
Savoy Town Hall 720 Main Road Access Plus
Tolland Town Hall 241 W Granville Rd Crocker
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

The Commonwealth’s Last Mile program has invested over $55 million in direct grants to close broadband access gaps, bringing the total to 29 of 53 communities with completed projects. That includes six communities which have delivered broadband access to at least 96 percent of residences, the target of the Commonwealth grant program, but which will finish connecting additional customers in early 2021. The 29 completed projects have delivered broadband connections to an estimated 25,000 citizens since 2016.