Mass Broadband Institute starts to flow $5 million funds to Open Cape initiative

Middle mile provider OpenCape took another financial step forward this week as it has completed necessary contracts with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to begin the flow of $5 million in state matching funds to OpenCape.

The $5 million state matching funds are part of $40 million a middle mile network project serving the southeast part of Massachusetts.

When the network becomes operations in 2013, OpenCape will provide fiber-based strands to the state and serve as a foundation for future government network communications. State government agencies will also be able to buy services from OpenCape at discounted prices.

By creating a high capacity regional area network, OpenCape's directors say the system will not only create a regional umbrella services model for municipalities and school districts on Cape Cod and the Islands, but also support public safety with a new set of robust and redundant communications paths.  

OpenCape was one of many middle mile providers that were the recipients of a Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2010. Joined by other large-scale middle mile projects such as the Independent Optical Network (ION) and North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), middle mile network proposals were the dominant winners of the first round of the BTOP awards last year.

While there continues to be a need to extend broadband directly to homes, the construction of middle mile networks by OpenCape and others will create new opportunities to extend services not only to area government agencies and businesses, but provide affordable backhaul circuits to smaller wireline and wireless providers that have had little alternatives to use than large incumbent providers' wholesale services.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Comptel 2010: RCN gets ready to build Open Cape Network
Mass.-based OpenCape wins $32 million broadband grant
Massachusetts government backs three public broadband projects
Middle mile providers: Complementary, not competitive
FierceTelecom 2010 Prediction: Middle mile march
Bridging the rural telco middle mile divide
RCN Metro, OpenCape to build open access network

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