After A Decade Of Waiting For Verizon, Town Builds Itself Gigabit Fiber For $75 Per Month

from techdirt

Like many broadband black holes, Western Massachusetts has spent years asking regional duopolies for broadband. Towns like Leverett, Mass. literally took to hanging signs around town begging Verizon to install even the slowest DSL. Of course Verizon not only refused to install Western Massachusetts, they froze deployment of effectively all FiOS fiber upgrades, leaving a large number of towns and cities (including Boston, Baltimore, Alexandria, Buffalo) without next-gen broadband — or in some cases broadband at all. 

But, unlike many areas, Western Massachusetts decided to do something about it. In 2012 Leverett voters approved borrowing $3.6 million — or roughly $1,900 per resident — to deliver fiber to 800 premises. The initiative would be part of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s MassBroadband 123 “middle mile” network, a stimulus-funded project that spent the last few years running 1,200 miles of fiber-optic network connecting 123 communties. That project feeds the town of Leverett’s new, community owned ISP LeverettNet, giving a town that once didn’t have DSL gigabit speeds for $75 a month:

More here.

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One Comment

  1. I love the idea of removing the power that these internet companies hold over their consumers. There are still so many places where you only have one option for internet/TV. Where I live You have the option of Comcast or Verizon. The problem is these two companies know this and have absolutely no pressure to lower rates. In fact, they are always raising rates on people while giving them less features. We tried calling to cancel and ask if they could give us a better deal. The representative basically just said, “That there is nothing that we can do, bye.” I think it would be great if more and more local communities fought these monopolies and created their own networks. The problem is that these huge cable companies spend billions in lobbying. In many states local governments are not allowed to start their own internet service. My home state, Pennsylvania, is one of those. It is not hard to imagine why, with Comcast being headquartered in Philadelphia.

    I had first heard about this movement from a place that many would not expect to lead the charge on such an issue, Chattanooga Tennessee. They have a very similar service to the one discussed in the article. ~$70 per month for gigabit internet service. They were tired of the monopolies dictating everything to their customers and not advancing technology. There may be an upfront cost. However, in the long run the consumer will save a ton of money.

    In today’s world, internet is an essential resource to everyone. I do not think that it is alright that cable companies are allowed to price gouge their customers without any repercussions. A fairly new tactic that Comcast has taken is to set data limits. I think it is just ridiculous to have data limits on your home internet. I somewhat understand them with cell phone companies and wireless internet, but with being wired into your house traffic is really not an issue. This also relates back to the whole issue of net neutrality. ISPs poured a ridiculous amount of money into the pockets of politicians to remove net neutrality. With net neutrality laws gone, ISPs can limit what websites you go to or charge you more for using certain sites. I think that would be insane. The internet is and should be a free place where you can do almost anything.

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