1. Blandford gets $1 million state grant to build broadband network with Westfield Gas & Electric

    Blandford gets $1 million state grant to build broadband network with Westfield Gas & Electric

    The administration of Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday awarded the town a $1 million Last Mile Infrastructure grant to design, engineer and construct a municipally owned broadband network. Blandford will partner with Westfield Gas and Electric to build a network that will bring high-speed internet to at least 96 percent of homes and businesses to the town. The Last Mile Infrastructure grant program has awarded more than $19.5 million to 22 towns, representing 13,000 homes and businesses, to support efforts to secure broadband connectivity in communities without commercial broadband options.

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    1. The ability to have fiber to the home is absolutely critical for the long-term stability of the town and ability to attract new residents to our community.
    2. We provide services, skills and leverage costs - it's a cooperative model.
    3. Expanding access to high-speed, broadband internet is critical to providing opportunities to local businesses, residents, students and families. We are committed to supporting our municipalities by working with them to bring reliable connectivity to communities in Central and Western Massachusetts though the Last Mile program.
    4. We are pleased to partner with the Town of Blandford to provide more resources and access to commercial high-speed internet.
    5. We are proud of the progress our Last Mile leadership team has made to close the connectivity gap across Central and Western Massachusetts.
    6. Today's award to Blandford insures yet another rural community in Western Massachusetts will overcome the digital divide.
    7. This is exciting news for one of the smallest communities in the Commonwealth and one of the most challenging in terms of a complete broadband expansion. Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration, as well as the MBI, for adding another town to the 21st century.
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