Leaders from the MassTech Collaborative and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute at MassTech (MBI) joined citizens from Montgomery and executives from Comcast to celebrate the official launch of the town’s new broadband network, a project constructed by Comcast with support from the Commonwealth’s Last Mile grant program.
During the event at Montgomery Town Hall, Carolyn Kirk, Executive Director of the MassTech Collaborative, and Peter Larkin, chair of the MBI’s board of directors, heard from town officials and a local student who highlighted the changes the new connectivity will have on home-based learning, on small businesses, and in driving economic growth in the town. Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito have prioritized delivering broadband internet to residents of every city and town, recognizing that access to a high-speed internet connection is critical for the success of families, businesses and communities.
“We’re excited to see another community gain access to this vital infrastructure, moving us closer to our goal of delivering broadband access to all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This new Comcast network will allow Montgomery’s citizens to finally take advantage of digital resources like educational textbooks, online tools connecting small businesses with new customers, and applications that bring together families and friends.”
“I have had the privilege of visiting all 351 communities across the Commonwealth, including rural towns in Western Massachusetts like Montgomery that were awaiting access to important broadband internet service,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration is pleased partner with MassTech on the Last Mile grant program, which facilitates the implementation of high-speed internet connection to provide necessary resources for families, students and businesses.”
The launch makes Montgomery the 16th Last Mile town with a completed project, as 373 households in Montgomery now have access to high-speed internet through the new network. The project has delivered broadband connectivity to more than 99 percent of premises in the town, well above the Last Mile grant’s target of 96 percent, and Comcast is completing construction to the remaining homes and will reach 100 percent of premises in town.
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute at MassTech Collaborative awarded Comcast a grant of up to $805,800 in June 2017 to design, build, own, and operate a broadband network in the Town of Montgomery. The grant was the first made under the MBI’s Private Sector Request for Proposals, which sought out companies willing to expand high-speed internet in an unserved town.
“The completion of this network deployment project in Montgomery signifies Comcast’s commitment to bringing high-speed Internet to residents and businesses in formerly unserved towns of western Massachusetts. We are proud to partner with the MBI in this endeavor, and are dedicated to our investment in the Commonwealth,” said Dennis Mathew, Senior Vice President for Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes western Massachusetts.
This will be the second Last Mile project completed by Comcast, following the completion of a nine town project for partially-served towns in September 2018. The company is also constructing networks to deliver broadband to the Town of Worthington and in the Town of Middlefield, projects also supported by the Last Mile program.