Mass. Broadband Institute turns up section of middle mile network

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) lit the first segment of its 1,338-route mile MassBroadband 123 network, which will bring services to 51 out of 120 community institutions in the western part of the state.

MBI kicked off the new network at an event held at the Farmington River Elementary School in Otis, Mass., attended by the state's Governor Deval Patrick, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Pamela Goldberg, CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and Judith Dumont, MBI's director.

"The victory today is that we are actually lighting part of the network. What was once a twinkling in someone's eyes five or six years ago is becoming a reality," said Goldberg in a Mass High Tech article. "This is a very large project and an extremely impactful project for the commonwealth."

Set to be completed by this summer, the MBI was made possible through the state's Broadband Act. Under the terms of this act, the MBI is allowed to invest up to $40 million in state funding for broadband-related projects.

Leveraging a combination of state and federal funds, the total cost of the project is $80 million.

Upon completion, the new network will serve 1,200 "anchor institutions," including a mix of schools, libraries, municipal buildings, public safety and health care facilities.

Massachusetts has been active proponent of the middle mile network trend. Besides MBI, CapeNet is building a 350-mile fiber optic middle mile network called OpenCape, serving southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.

For more:
- Mass High Tech via Boston Business Journal has this article

Related articles:
Washington, Massachusetts, Delaware get progressive about broadband
Lightower extends fiber network to Mass Broadband Institute's middle mile initiative