Updated Changes to Broadband Information Session

NOTE: This information session is NOT for signing up for broadband.

SIGN UP FOR BROADBAND HERE →

Due to COVID restrictions and Blandford recognized as a high risk community, there will be no in-person attendance at the information session on November 7th. This means all participation will be done virtually or dial-in only.

November 7, 2020 at 10am
On your computer: Meet virtually via Teams. Visit https://www.bit.ly/blandfordbroadband to find out more information to connect virtually.
Call-in (audio only): 1-617-865-3953. When prompted, dial Conference ID 962 367 981#

QUESTIONS? Contact Whip City Fiber Customer Service at 413-485-1251.

UPDATED: Broadband Informational Sessions – Mark Your Calendar!

NOTE: These information sessions are NOT for signing up for broadband. All signups will be done online which will be available soon.

On Saturday, November 7, 2020 the Blandford Municipal Light Board will be hosting two hybrid informational sessions to provide an update to the Blandford community on the broadband project. Representatives from Whip City Fiber will be present to give an overview of where the project is in the process and engage in Q&A. These meetings will be done both in-person and virtually during two different time schedules for convenience. If you cannot make any of these sessions either in-person or online, the sessions will be recorded and later uploaded on the Town’s YouTube Channel and town website for later viewing.

Session 1: November 7, 2020 at 10am to 11:30am
• In-person: Gym of Town Hall
• Virtual Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81062748122
• Meeting ID: 81062748122
• Dial-in: 1-929-205-6099

Session 2: November 7, 2020 at 12pm to 1:30pm
• In-person: Gym of Town Hall
• Virtual Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82269237612
• Meeting ID: 82269237612
• Dial-in: 1-929-205-6099

If you plan to participate in person or online, PLEASE REGISTER HERE. NOTE: You do not have to be registered in order to participate. This is only in the effort to give Whip City Fiber an idea of how many people to expect.

In the effort to allow as much in-person space to be available to support social distancing guidelines, we strongly encourage folks to participate electronically via zoom if you are able and are comfortable participating electronically. If the capability does not exist and/or you are much comfortable participating in person instead, that is fine as well. If planning to participate in-person, social distancing guidelines will be adhered to upon entry of the Town Hall and participation in the gym. Any questions, contact the Town Administrator’s office at administrator@townofblandford.com or (413) 848-4279 x502.

Broadband Update

The Blandford Municipal Light Plant (MLP) has chosen Whip City Fiber, a division of Westfield Gas & Electric, as our Internet Service Provider (ISP). Blandford will own the network. Anyone who had paid $49 to WiredWest in entitled to a refund by submitting a written request to WiredWest (please see the home page for form and instructions).

The Broadband committee is working closely with Whip City, and holding bi weekly meetings. The network has been designed, pole applications have been submitted to both Eversource and Verizon. The system Hub will be located on North Blandford Road at the new cemetery maintenance building. The base for the Hub is in place, and the actual structure should be in place by mid to late summer.

There are some 20 other towns using WG+E as their ISP, and the utilities are working on each town in sequence. We should start seeing crews in town late in the year.

We are currently paying the utilities and WG+E with the state funds allocated. At some point Blandford will need to borrow funds to continue the project. That authorization has all ready been passed in Town Meeting.

Construction should begin late this year or early 2020. About 60 days prior to that WG+E will conduct marketing sessions and promotional campaigns. At that time, applications for service will be available on the Westfield Blandford web site. Homeowners who subscribe and pay for their network connection at that time will pay the discounted rate. This will include service to the house. If one subscribes after the crews have completed work in that section of Town they will pay additional hook-up fees.

The Blandford MLP is in the process of determining a “drop policy” for setting service and connection fees. Pricing will be based on WG+E Fees, insurance, bond payments, etc., and are unknown at this point. WG+E will offer 1 gigabyte of internet access with an option for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone service. All above and below ground services will be included, and homeowners will be consulted prior to construction.

Westfield will construct the entire network, test it, and then start implementing fiber to the home within the five Fiber Service Areas in the Town. Homes will be “lit up” as each area is completed. Based on current projections, Eversource and Verizon priorities, and weather concerns, we anticipate service to begin being implemented in mid to late 2020.

1/10/18: Municipal Fiber Project – Workers In the Area

Over the next 8 weeks or so, we will have survey/map people from Precision Valley Communications working in the area. They are subcontracted out by Westfield Gas and Electric and are beginning by taking measurements of every utility pole and lengths to every single residence in town. They will be in trucks/vehicles marked with magnetic signage, they will have proper ID, and will wear safety vests.

This mapping will have them out with some equipment to ensure accurate measurements from pole to pole and pole to house. Residents with any questions should contact the Selectboard or the MLP members (Kim Bergland, Peter Langmore, June Massee) and we can resolve them.