Great Barrington free WiFi

Free, public Wi-Fi is coming to downtown Great Barrington, after the town worked out a solution with internet provider Fiber Connect. 

GREAT BARRINGTON — After several years of negotiating and logistical hassles, fiber-optic cables and routers will be installed downtown for free, public Wi-Fi that likely will be ready by summer.

The Monterey-based internet company Fiber Connect and the town have worked together to create the network, Public GB. The town will ask downtown property owners for permission to install the cables and exterior routers in their buildings and, if they agree, will charge them a one-time fee of $2,000 for the service, according to a statement from the town.

The service will be available from Castle and Bridge streets north, to the Elm Street area, said Select Board member Ed Abrahams, who spearheaded the project and for years has lobbied for high-speed internet downtown.

Richard Stanley, who owns a number of buildings downtown, including the Barrington House on Main Street, is one of the first to sign on.

“Other property owners have expressed interest, and we welcome ‘sponsorship’ participation from any other interested businesses or individuals who want to support this project,” said Town Manager Mark Pruhenski. “We will get this done one building at a time.”

Routers for the public service also will be placed at the Mason Library and Town Hall.

The public network is separate from Fiber Connect’s earlier build-out of a fiber-optic network for businesses and homeowners downtown that want high-speed internet.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or 413-329-6871.