On April 3, 2017, the Commonwealth and the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development launched a new grant making program for unserved towns, similar to the existing MassWorks grant programs.
Below are links to presentations and materials for the January 27, 2017 procurement workshop, hosted by MBI at Worthington Town Hall, with presentations by the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
The MBI understands how important the issue of broadband connectivity is for each community and we are committed to working with each town to advance the expansion of high-speed internet. The MBI has revised the MBI Broadband Last Mile Broadband Policy (Approved September 29, 2016).
On May 10th, Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Senate President Rosenberg and MBI officials met with local officials and legislative leaders to discuss a strategic pathway forward for the Last Mile program. The MBI will be building a more flexible framework that will help all unserved towns achieve broadband access, allowing for a range of project models, including multi-town collaborations, locally-owned networks, and industry partnerships. Many technology and operational choices will be supported, as long as they meet core speed, affordability, and sustainability standards. The broader framework for MBI’s new approach is outlined in the presentation below.
The MBI is working with the Baker-Polito Administration regarding broadband expansion strategies. The goal is to develop and execute a strategy that will provide broadband access to the greatest number of residents possible, access available sources of financing, offer the best value for the public investment, leverage outside sources of funding and expertise, and operate sustainably over time.
The MBI and the Baker-Polito Administration sent an update to all unserved and partially served communities in Western MA. The MBI also compiled a Town Profiles document containing maps, capital expenditures, and operating expenditures information for each of the 44 unserved towns.
The MBI held a public comment period to allow town officials to review and provide feedback on a Request for Proposals for Design and Engineering Support Services for the Last Mile Networks Project (“the RFP”). Although not required by public procurement law, the unique nature of this partnership between local municipalities and the MBI warranted this novel approach. The technical, substantive sections of the RFP were produced in a document accessible by the link below. Additionally, the MBI Broadband Last Mile Policy referenced in the RFP may be found in the section below dated July 2015.
UPDATED (4/27/2016): The public comment period closed on Friday, January 29, 2016. The comments will be considered public records pursuant to G.L. c.66 and its attendant regulations.
Our obligation to the towns, taxpayers and the Commonwealth is to ensure, that state and local funds are used to support sustainable broadband service – now and over the long term.
The MBI Statement on WiredWest's Business and Operating Plans includes an analysis of some of the major risks in the WiredWest draft operating agreement and preliminary feedback from the ongoing review of the WiredWest business plan.
In addition, the MBI has released two documents which are a core part of the MBI's review of WiredWest’s business and operating plans. These documents were drafted by two of MBI’s consultants: Attorney Gregory Sandomirsky from the firm Mintz Levin, an expert on municipal bonding; and Michael Morgenstern, a consultant partner at the technology consulting firm WIPRO, which has experience reviewing rural & municipal broadband projects and consolidates insights from a panel of broadband executives that have worked on similar projects.
Links to the presentation and supporting reports used at the MBI's municipal session on Monday, December 14th, in Greenfield:
Links to related WiredWest documents:
If you have any questions about the municipal session or cannot access the documents above, please contact Christine Hatch at hatch (at) masstech.org.
Unserved towns or their designated representatives may apply for financial assistance through the Broadband Planning Assistance Grant Solicitation to obtain grant funding to assist a town to obtain professional services to perform preliminary marketing or feasibility studies, to obtain legal and financial services, and to obtain professional guidance in deciding whether to participate in the MBI Last Mile program. The maximum amount available to or for the benefit of any town under the current program is $5,000.
These material were presented and provided to attendees and/or presented at past outreach meetings. It is critical to note:
- In some cases, these materials are draft and/or preliminary documents and in no way are they a guarantee;
- The slides and documents support the in-meeting presentations made by MBI executives and our outside technical consultants.
If there are questions on content or something is unclear, or if you would like further insight into these materials, please contact:
Christine Hatch, MBI Outreach Manager, 508-870-0312 x620 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailings to Support 2015 Spring Town Meetings
Winter 2014/2015 Financial Forums
Fall 2014 Outreach Meetings:
Other Relevent Documents