An excellent investment
The money will be used to lay 1,300 miles of high-speed optical fiber to form a backbone network serving 123 Western Massachusetts communities. It will connect directly to hundreds of government agencies, including schools, libraries, and police and fire departments, but will not deliver Internet services directly to homes and businesses. Instead, commercial or municipal Internet providers will be able to connect to the backbone and run their own services to retail consumers.
Along with the Massachusetts funding, the Obama administration is issuing 66 broadband development grants across the United States, for a total of $795 million. The money will come from the economic stimulus plan enacted last year, which set aside $7.2 billion in grants and loans to upgrade the nation’s data networks.