Letter: WiredWest stands ready to deliver broadband
To the editor:
Having been involved with WiredWest since its formation in 2011, I want to add some points to Larry Parnass' Nov. 13 front-page story, "WiredWest reroutes last-mile strategy."
Our mission has not changed since day one: to provide broadband internet to the people in our member towns.
What has changed is that we will be delivering broadband services over networks owned individually by our member towns, rather than over a single regional network. As the state grant process for funding town networks moved forward over the past year and a half, WiredWest developed a strategy for providing services over those networks.
WiredWest will be the internet service provider for people in our member towns, as always envisioned. To effectuate this, we have contracted with Westfield Gas & Electric to deliver services over town networks on behalf of WiredWest.
It is no easy task for towns to build their own fiber networks, as I can tell you from first-hand experience. To alleviate the management burden on towns of then operating them, WiredWest has stepped up to provide towns with a package of support services, such as accounting and network maintenance, as well as covering the costs of things like insurance and the fees required to license space for fiber cables on utility poles.
WiredWest is a cooperative of its member towns, not an entity separate from those towns. The board of directors which runs WiredWest is made up solely of representatives appointed by each of its member towns. The strategy for providing internet service over town-owned networks was developed and approved by those town representatives, who will continue to oversee WiredWest's operations going forward.
Town networks will start to become operational as soon as early 2019, and most towns will be up and running by the end of that year. WiredWest stands ready to deliver broadband in those towns, such as Washington, which choose to work together on a cooperative basis to make high-speed internet available to all.
The writer represents the town of Washington on the WiredWest Board of Directors.
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