In case you don’t know where Charlemont is, it’s roughly halfway between Greenfield and North Adams on Route 2. Anyhow, after waiting in vain for the private sector to connect them to the Internet, Comcast agreed that for a $462,123 subsidy, they would wire the town with Internet. But of course Comcast would end up owning it and setting its rates.
The citizens of Charlemont declined Comcast’s offer and decided to build their own community network instead. When completed, its 1200 residents will have 1 gigabit per second symmetrical download and upload fiber to the home for $79/month. They will raise their own property taxes to pay for its construction. But if 72% or more of households subscribe, fees will be able to cover its construction and there would be no financial impact.
Let’s hope that Northampton soon joins the growing list of communities in Massachusetts glad to ditch Comcast and bring data as a utility to its residents and businesses.