$13 Million Grant to Improve Internet Access Across Massachusetts

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) — Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced $13 million in grants Thursday that will be awarded to 86 communities across the Commonwealth to improve or build municipal fiber infrastructure.

The money will benefit more than a dozen municipalities and school districts in Western Massachusetts to improve existing municipal fiber networks or create new ones. The following cities and towns in western Massachusetts will receive grants:

  • Amherst – $295,925 – Extension of existing municipal fiber network
  • Colrain – $400,000 – Creation of a redundant municipal fiber network for the towns of Colrain, Charlemont, Heath, Leyden and Rowe
  • Dalton – $60,844 – Creation of a new municipal fiber network
  • East Longmeadow – $159,000 – Extension of the town’s existing fiber optic infrastructure
  • Easthampton – $250,000 – Creation of a new municipal fiber network
  • Egremont – $12,493 – Extension of its existing municipal fiber network
  • Hampden – $250,000 – Expansion of the city’s fiber infrastructure
  • New Salem – $12,730 – Installation of environmental and safety monitoring equipment for the New Salem Municipal Lighting Plant fiber network
  • Northampton – $250,000 – Extension of the city’s existing fiber infrastructure
  • Pittsfield – $205,089 – Expanding the city’s existing fiber infrastructure
  • Washington – $244,000 – Creation of a redundant fiber network for the cities of Becket, Blandford, Otis and Washington

“The delivery of government services, from public safety response to data security, increasingly depends on a strong and consistent Internet infrastructure,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “This new Community Compact Cabinet program is the latest example of our administration’s commitment to partnering with cities and towns to better serve residents, and we are proud to support their efforts to strengthen their municipal networks.

“Given the rapidly changing information technology landscape and the infrastructure needed to support it, these inaugural municipal fiber grants will have a significant impact on communities and local governments to better serve their residents.” , said Lieutenant Governor Polito, chairman of the Community Compact Cabinet. “As Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet, I look forward to our continued partnership with the 351 towns and villages of the Commonwealth, and would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone involved for their continued commitment to their communities. .”

The grant is from the Community Compact Cabinet Municipal Fiber grant program established by the Baker-Polito administration in the FY2022 Capital Investment Plan. Grant recipients are required to make a 5% local contribution .

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