Current and future customers of Charter Communications in Hinsdale, Lanesborough and West Stockbridge are getting high-speed internet service.

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) has awarded the country's second largest cable television operator a $1.6 million grant to extend broadband to those unserved Berkshire communities.

The state grant will also support the extension of broadband and digital television service to an estimated 440 households without either form of communications in the three towns, state officials announced on Tuesday.

Charter's estimated $3.9 million upgrade and expansion should take 18 months to complete, reaching approximately 3,400 residential and commercial premises.

"Our administration is committed to engaging communities unserved by broadband, and working collaboratively to deliver reliable, sustainable, and affordable broadband solutions to the residents and businesses of Central and Western Massachusetts," said Gov. Charlie Baker in a statement. "This partnership with Charter Communications shows our commitment to meeting 'last mile' challenges with solutions most relevant to the communities themselves."

The commonwealth's Last Mile Initiative has a goal of bringing broadband access to unserved residents and communities in Franklin, Hampshire, Hapden and Berkshire counties.


The MBI funding will transform television-only cable network in Hinsdale, Lanesborough and West Stockbridge into an all-digital network capable initially delivering digital television and broadband to roughly 80 to 90 percent of existing local customers.