Easthampton Municipal Broadband Moves Forward
Easthampton, Mass. — Municipal broadband planning efforts take a step forward this week in Easthampton. Over the next several weeks, residents will see field engineers gathering mapping information and existing utility distribution networks for engineering and design planning of municipal internet systems. The data collected is critical for financial planning to prepare the City to compete for broadband funding opportunities.
Mayor LaChapelle emphasized, “The City’s planning advances come due to significant work from community volunteers and an ad hoc Telecommunications Committee. Their work gave us a headstart as the pandemic impact deepened.”
Knowing reliable and affordable high-speed internet is a modern-day necessity, Mayor LaChapelle and Easthampton City Council prioritized the creation of a Municipal Light Plant (MLP) over two years ago. An MLP is a city-owned entity empowered under state law to provide utilities such as the internet to homes and businesses. The pandemic showed that access to quality internet services was sorely lacking in the City. Pre-K to high school students, access to telehealth, and the ability to work remotely compounded lost opportunities in education, medical treatment, and economic stability.