Blandford News

Important Dates to Remember

Caucus: March 6
Informational meeting on annual town warrant articles and budget for fiscal year 2018: April 24
Annual Town Meeting: May 1
Annual Town Election: May 13

Reports for inclusion in the Annual Town Report must be to the Town Clerk by March 15. All events are at the Town Offices.

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ESTBOROUGH -- State officials have unveiled grant proposals from six companies that hope to provide broadband internet service to as many as 40 unserved Massachusetts towns.

The applications from Charter Communications, Comcast, Crocker Communications, Fiber Connect, Mid Hudson Data Corp. and Westfield Gas & Electric (Whip City Fiber) were submitted in response to a Nov. 18 solicitation from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, or MBI, which has allocated $19,680,000 to subsidize the cost of deploying rural broadband.

The deadline for submitting applications was Jan. 11.

On Monday, MBI officials updated municipal leaders on the proposals, saying each town will have the final say over whether to pursue any solution with a private provider. The applications will undergo state-level review to make sure they are eligible for participation in the Last Mile program.

MBI sought to "identify qualified private firms willing to design, build, own, operate, manage, and maintain high-speed broadband internet networks in the 40 Massachusetts towns currently unserved by broadband."

Three rural communities get $1.9 million in state broadband money
Three rural communities get $1.9 million in state broadband money
Warwick will upgrade a wireless network, while Otis and Alford will build fiber-to-the-home.

Under program guidelines, proposals must serve at least 96 percent of all premises in any town, and provide minimum broadband speeds as defined by the Federal Communications Commission. The projects must show they are capable of long-term operating sustainability without ongoing state subsidy.

The applications reveal different approaches to connecting different communities.
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