1. State agrees to release engineering money to towns for rural broadband

    State agrees to release engineering money to towns for rural broadband

    Massachusetts officials have agreed to release engineering and design grants directly to rural towns that plan to build "last mile" municipal broadband networks. Previously, the towns were bound to accept "professional services" provided internally by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, a state agency. The policy, announced Monday, marks a radical shift for MBI and opens a range of options for dozens of small towns in Central and Western Massachusetts that have been struggling for years without high-speed residential internet. MBI unveiled the new policy at its Feb. 27 board meeting in Westborough, said Paul McMorrow, a spokesman for Gov. Charlie Baker ...

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    1. The towns said very clearly that they wanted the state to release the professional service allocation in the form of direct grants, in addition to their construction grants.
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