Lightower extends fiber network to Mass Broadband Institute's middle mile initiative

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) has set an ambitious course to build out a 1,338-mile backbone network that will serve 120 communities in the western and north central parts of Massachusetts, and to get access to major Internet access points it is getting help from Lightower Fiber Networks.

By partnering with Lightower, MBI will gain an onramp to the major Internet Point of Presence (PoP) in Boston by leasing its fiber on two diverse paths of the Lightower network. The additional path will connect with MassBroadband 123, providing redundant and diverse pathways to the major Internet access points in the city.

Having this path will enable MBI's western Massachusetts-based service providers to carry Internet traffic to Boston. Having such network connectivity could make participating service providers on the MBI network more attractive to residential customers and especially multisite business customers that need connectivity in major cities.

As an open access network, MassBroadband 123 is expanding high-speed Internet to over 120 communities in western and north central Massachusetts. Retail service providers will be able to purchase wholesale capacity to provide either business or residential broadband services.

MBI's partnership with Lightower represents an emerging trend where middle mile providers are finding they need a complementary partner that can give them access to major Internet POPs that are located outside of their initial network footprint.

Of course, MBI is hardly alone in this practice. GWI, the purveyor of the Three Ring Binder network, struck a similar agreement with alternative fiber provider Sidera to extend their network in Portland, Maine to key PoPs in Boston and New York City.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Mass Broadband Institute starts to flow $5 million funds to Open Cape initiative
Massachusetts government backs three public broadband projects
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative tasks Axia to operate middle mile network
MBI develops program to expand broadband availability in Western Mass.

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