Western Massachusetts Broadband Expansion Continues

More than 100,000 feet of fiber-optic cable was delivered to West Springfield, Massachusetts today. It will be installed as the so-called "backbone" of a project that aims to expand high-speed Internet access in western and north central Massachusetts.

[Ambient sound of trucks and forklift]

The spools of cable are about as tall as the people handling them, and arrive in stacks on a flatbed truck. They're being delivered to an office park in West Springfield, where a company called G4S Technology will begin distributing and installing them. Cecil Kuhse oversees the construction for G4S, which was hired by the state.

"Well, we have the deadline. We have a deadline to be finished by June of 2013. Things are on schedule."

The state's so called "Mass Broadband 123" project is stringing a fiber-optic line, or backbone, through more than 120 communities in Central and Western Massachusetts. The line travels above ground, attached to utility poles, and will boost connection to homes, libraries, schools, health care and public safety facilities. Judy Dumont is director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.

"It's just an exciting day that it's real. We're seeing things be delivered. This is 144-strand cable so it might go up along Route 7. That's a key backbone area."

The cable is also running along Interstate 91 from the Vermont to Connecticut borders. The project is being funded by $45 million in federal stimulus funding and $26 million from the state.