Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is rolling out a new framework to bring high-speed internet to rural communities in western Massachusetts.
The plan would give towns more latitude to choose what works best for them. Communities could work with a private provider, run their own network or take a regional approach. To actually deliver the high speed internet – towns could choose cable, fiber optic or wireless. Lenox State Representative Smitty Pignatelli says he supports this flexible approach and hopes the process moves quickly.
“Towns that are ready to go, I’d say give them the tools and let them go,” Pignatelli says. “The towns that need a little more hand-holding, let’s hold their hand and get them on the mark.”
Earlier this year, Governor Baker froze funding to all broadband projects to conduct a review of the so-called “Last Mile” project. He has also hired new leadership for the initiative.