Monterey Broadband Update
The bottom line: Fiber Connect is the only solution available for a minimum of 2.5 years
For those that would like to have high performance Internet/Broadband access sooner than later, there is only one solution available to residents of Monterey…and that is Fiber Connect. To determine timing and availability for your location, go to www.berkshirefiberconnect.com.
The Broadband Committee/Municipal Light and Power (MLP) is still working with the state to gain closure on the best “whole town” solution for Monterey. There is currently $1.1 million dollars in grant money available to Monterey and one of our priorities is to work with the state to make sure that the grant monies are allocated to us.
The state has two rigidly defined programs available to the towns for Broadband. Given the presence of Fiber Connect, Monterey does not currently fit into either program. The first program directs funding to “qualified” vendors, such as Charter. Fiber Connect has yet to be fully vetted by the state and is currently not an approved solution for the grant monies. The MLP has successfully appealed to the Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary to take a closer look at Fiber Connect. That review will be conducted soon.
The second state program is designed for those towns that have decided to build, own, operate and maintain their own networks. Monterey does not currently qualify for this program as we are seeking funds for approximately 30% of the town as opposed to a whole town build..
Why is Fiber Connect the only solution for the next 2.5 years?
In discussions with Charter, they have stated that deployment of a solution for Monterey is approximately 2.5 years from contract signing. We are nowhere near any kind of contract with Charter and there are currently no plans for talks in the near term. This could change depending on the outcome of the aforementioned vetting process for Fiber Connect.
As you have most likely seen and heard, Fiber Connect is hanging fiber and installing equipment in the areas that are first in their business plan. As a private company, Fiber Connect has the flexibility to deploy where and when they see fit. Their current plan as known to the MLP, calls for wiring and lighting the fiber to close to 70% of the town sometime by the end of March, 2018. They will light up the fiber as installed…a rolling deployment. The first homes in the Lake Garfield area are expected to be online very soon. With this in mind, the MLP is pursuing the state grant monies to pay for the deployment of the last 30% of the network.
The mechanics for receiving the grant monies are also something that the state will have to work out given the rigidly defined programs.
What should I do?
If you want to implement high speed Internet/Broadband sooner than later, then fiber connect is your only option. Should you desire to wait and see what happens with the state, then you would continue with your current solution.
Please feel free to contact Fiber Connect directly to determine availability and timing.