Shutesbury municipal network on the way!

Shutesbury, Massachusetts is still stuck in dialup/DSL-land. Comcast long ago decided it wasn’t profitable to wire up the town. But this is changing as the town wires up, thanks in part to the commonwealth’s Wired West initiative.

In March 2017, the town voted to create a Municipal Light Plant for the purpose of bringing a community network to the town. While 75% of the community is now wired, no one is yet online.

On Tuesday, March 26 at a town meeting, residents are being asked to approve a subsidy proposal. It calls for those who want municipal internet to pay a $200 fee to bring the fiber optic cable to their house from the street. Residents are also being asked to vote to use $274,000 from the town’s stabilization fund to help subsidize this part.

If the vote does not get approved, construction will still continue. However, each homeowner will have to pay more for installation. The $274,000 is designed to subsidize the cost of bringing broadband to an individual resident.

The town also posted prices for 1-gigabit per second fiber-to-the-home: $75 per month. If you want this plus telephone service, the total is $89 per month. This is in line with other local municipal networks including Leverett and Westfield.

You can read more about it on the town’s website.

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