Overlooked by the incumbent telephone company, Mount Washington in the southwest corner of Massachusetts is becoming one of the smallest FTTH communities in the country by investing in a municipal fiber network. A strong majority of the town committed to three years of service and the state contributed $230,000 to build the network after a lot of local groundwork and organizing.
Select Board member Gail Garrett joins us for episode 212 of the Community Broadband Bits to discuss their process and the challenges of crafting an economical plan on such a small scale.
It turns out that the rural town had some advantages - low make-ready costs from the lack of wires on poles and no competition to have to worry about. So they are moving forward and with some cooperation from the telephone company and electric utility, they could build it pretty quickly. We also discuss what happens to those homes that choose not to take service when it is rolled out - they will have to pay more later to be connected.
Read the rest of our coverage of Mt Washington here.
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Thanks to Roller Genoa for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Safe and Warm in Hunter's Arms."