Digital Divide: Broadband in the Berkshires


Why has it taken so long for broadband internet service to reach homes in many rural towns in the Berkshires?
Interviews by The Eagle Eye Team paint a complex picture of missed signals and wrong turns within government, high construction costs and a fact that bedevils all projects: lots of road miles with too few houses on them.

WiredWest: Build your networks and let us take care of the rest

Rather than build and run a sprawling regional broadband system, a nonprofit cooperative now seeks to fill a narrower but critical role for towns fighting to obtain fast internet connections.

Five private companies pitch to provide last-mile broadband in the Berkshires

Five private companies are making the case to win millions in state funding to build last-mile internet connections in Berkshire County.

Our Opinion: Closing last mile in Berkshire towns

Berkshire residents have waited long enough

Eagle Eye Team Report: Broadband expansion languishes in Berkshires

Why has it taken so long for broadband internet service to reach homes in many rural towns in the Berkshires?

STATUS CHECK: Here’s where Berkshire County’s 19 ‘unserved’ internet towns stand

An overview of where each of the 19 towns designated as unserved by broadband in Berkshire County stand in their efforts to bring broadband to residents.

Inside the broadband meltdown: WiredWest retools after losing faceoff with MBI

A broadband vision for the Berkshires crashed and burned one afternoon in December 2015.

Podcast | S01 Episode 14: Inside the broadband meltdown

In this week's podcast, the Eagle Eye Team explores why it has taken so long for broadband internet service to reach homes in many rural towns in the Berkshires.

'Bridge to nowhere'? So far, a middle mile with revenue problem

More than three years into running the network, Western and North Central Massachusetts' middle mile network operator is still struggling to break even.

The Last Mile: State connecting with towns over broadband options

Town leaders from across Berkshire County will speak out Thursday on the lingering broadband divide, albeit briefly. Starting at 2 p.m. in Worthington Town Hall, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute will take testimony from members of select boards and

Towns to Massachusetts Broadband Institute: Back regional broadband

WORTHINGTON — Broadband advocates from Berkshire County and beyond pressed Thursday for the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to free up funding, speed decision-making and support regional solutions to a problem they say impairs civic life.

Interest high in 'Whip City' as broadband partner

The auditorium was frigid, and mood dark, as a forum began in Worthington. But things warmed up fast for representatives of Whip City Fiber, sitting in back with their brochures and chewing gum giveaways.

Massachusetts Broadband Instititue expands options on last-mile broadband

WESTBOROUGH — By loosening its pursestrings, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute will provide enhanced choices to dozens of towns clamoring for broadband internet service. The change clears paths for both public and privately owned networks and c

From unserved to connected: Leverett's fiber-optic system a model for rural towns

LEVERETT — Inside a green metal building in Leverett, lightning-fast internet connections pulse through yellow-coated fibers, one per customer.

Charter expands broadband offer to Becket, Peru and Tyringham

MBI OKs money for towns in broadband buildout

Monterey looks at two options for high-speed internet access

MONTEREY — Sitting at a table in town hall, Kenneth Basler shakes his head and says bureaucracy is frustrating attempts to get homes here up and running with high-speed internet connections able to stand the test of time.

Fiber Connect disqualified from state funds by Massachusetts Broadband Institute

Internet provider was looking to work with Monterey, Egremont

Amid Axia uncertainty, state moves to ensure MassBroadband 123 doesn't go dark

Though one company claims it's losing millions running the state's 1,200-mile fiber-optic network, as many as a dozen others may compete to step into the fray.

Across state line, a race to close broadband gap

NEW LEBANON, N.Y. — "Pretty primitive," Dianne Hobden, of Canaan, N.Y., says of her internet connection. "You can't stream because it keeps buffering," adds her friend, Lorraine Gregg, of Chatham, N.Y.

Mountain of overdue bills said to threaten 'middle mile'

Unpaid bills threaten the state's 1,200-mile fiber-optic network, putting public safety communications at risk as vendors clamor for $375,000 owed them.

Massachusetts Broadband Institute board chairman cites progress in last-mile projects

Nearly a year after changing course, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute is pushing on multiple fronts to bring fast internet to unserved communities, its board chairman says.

Middle-mile users will not lose Internet: Judge orders operator to continue operations

Operation of the state's "middle-mile" fiber-optic network is assured for another two weeks, amid a month-old bankruptcy filing and a legal battle as old as the $90 million system itself.

Legal fights rack up expenses for Massachusetts Broadband Institute

As it spars in two federal courts, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute is not out of the woods on an earlier legal battle over its main asset, the $90 million fiber-optic middle mile.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions