Internet Expansion in Massachusetts

Massachusetts may not be one of the largest states in the union, but state officials are putting millions of dollars to use for internet expansion.  Even in a state the size of Massachusetts, there are still those who lack basic broadband services which are both reliable and cost effective. 

In fact, just last month Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick kicked off construction of a new broadband internet expansion that will use fiber optic cables.  This project will make use of $ 80 million dollars worth of government funds.  The construction on the project is set to begin this summer and is scheduled to last for the next two years.

In addition to bringing broadband internet to regions that have yet to get service, the project is also set to put Americans back to work.  This project is set to create hundreds of jobs over the course of the next few years.  In addition, it is going to link more than 120 communities located in western and north central Massachusetts.  The hope is that the MassBroadband 123 project is going to help spur economic growth in this region thanks to the addition of several hundred jobs. 

Officials say it is about time that broadband be introduced to parts of the state.  In all, more than 1,000 lines of fiber optic cable will be laid.  Officials also say that it is part of a civic responsibility to bring reliable broadband to the citizens of the stat.  They say the project will bring not only a better and stronger commonwealth for the current residents, but also for those of future generations as well. 

This move by the state of Massachusetts is also the largest fiber optic expansion project under way in the nation.  The project will help link nearly 1,400 schools, libraries, hospitals and public safety facilities.  None of these spots currently have reliable or affordable high speed internet service.  One of these facilities without service includes the Sandisfield Fire Department.  As a result, public safety is being comprised.  However, with broadband on its way, emergency officials will be able to communicate better and more efficiently which will result in more lives being saved. 

While much of the funds for this project are coming from grants, many dollars are also coming courtesy of the federal government.  The Obama administration has pledged more than $ 45 million in funds thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act along with the National Telecommunication and Information Administration and the Broadband Technology and Opportunities Program. 

Most officials with the state are very pleased that this work is going to take a big step in crossing the digital divide that affects not only Massachusetts, but much of the country as well.  In this day in age, it is critical for everyone to have access to the internet and all that it can provide in terms of education, job growth and telemedicine.  In addition, the work to expand broadband services will actually help to save money as residents will be able to work and to shop from home.