Springfield Congressman Richard Neal joined state officials in Boston today (Monday) at a conference aimed at persuading high-tech companies in the metro-Boston area to consider expanding their operations to western Massachusetts. More than one-hundred participants attended the conference that organizers say was aimed at highlighting the region’s investments in the state’s growing innovation economy. With a high speed, fiber-optic network scheduled to come online by midsummer next year, and the construction of the high performance computing center in Holyoke targeted for completion soon after, conference organizers say it’s time for growing companies in eastern Massachusetts to look beyond the Route 128 corridor.
“We want them to understand that looking west is a viable option.”
Judy Dumont is director of the Mass Broadband Institute, which is overseeing the construction of the high speed infrastructure across northern and western Massachusetts. She says when completed, the network will provide broadband access for more than one million people and 44,000 businesses in 120 communities. Dumont says the network will also have enough capacity to meet all of New England’s demands for the next 20 to 30 years, keeping companies from having to migrate out of state.
“You’ve got business parks that can hold and facilitate growing businesses. All of the college students who graduate each year from the top colleges in western Mass, they need a reason and want a reason to stay in western Mass. And so we think its prime for those businesses who are looking to expand that they look west.”
Dumont says unlike privately built networks that restrict access, this network will be available to both the small entrepreneur as well as large cable and wireless operators.