Small Massachusetts town will offer blazing 2 Gbps fiber Internet for US$40 a month

English: a fiber-optic splitter: 2x(input, 90%...

A fiber-optic splitter: 2x(input, 90% out, 10%out) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jon Gold

Leverett, Mass., will improve its existing fiber-optic network by the start of the new year, boosting peak speeds from one gigabit to two gigabits, and dropping the price from $45 per month to $40, according to a report in the local Recorder newspaper.

A small town in central Massachusetts, just north of Amherst, Leverett has fewer than 2,000 residents, making it among the smallest in the country with its own municipal gigabit [sic] fiber network.

LeverettNet broadband and phone service have been available since October, and the town is the first in Massachusetts to complete last-mile service connecting it to the MassBroadband 123 “middle-mile” fiber network funded by state and local grants. About 650 out of 800 households signed up for the service initially.

However, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, which runs MassBroadband 123, denied permission for a further build-out of the network last week. Those plans would have seen service extended to roughly 24 other rural communities, the Recorder reported. The group said that those plans put too much power in the hands of WiredWest, the company that built the network, instead of allowing the local municipalities to operate them.

Leverett is one of a very few U.S. towns or cities to implement a publicly owned fiber network. Others include Chattanooga, Tenn., and Longmont, Colo. Municipalities often face legal challenges from telecom heavyweights, which have worked to help pass restrictive laws in many states.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry’s first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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