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Massachusetts Taxpayers To Spend $45 Million More On State Broadband Network

November 16, 2017

According to the Berkshire Eagle, Massachusetts state legislators are getting ready to spend another $45 million to bring high-speed broadband to rural areas of the state. As readers of this blog know, the Bay State is home to a $90 million statewide, government-owned broadband network that is operated by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). Peter …

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Municipal Broadband: “A Long And Hazardous Journey”

October 31, 2017

The news site Law360 recently examined state and local efforts to spur rural broadband development, including the proliferation of taxpayer-financed municipal broadband networks. Reporter Kelcee Griffis found that, in general, city broadband projects are struggling. She cited Greenfield, Mass.’s government network, which became subject to “a corruption probe just months after it began offering internet …

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Greenfield, Mass. In Legal Fight Over Municipal Wi-Fi Network

August 31, 2017

In a July column, Industry Leaders Magazine editor Carrie Ann asked why every city can’t have a municipal broadband network like Chattanooga, Tenn.’s. Greenfield, Mass. is finding out the answer to that question the hard way. Town officials have accused the “quasi-public” electricity provider that’s in charge of the city’s public Wi-Fi network of fiscal …

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Massachusetts Agency Loses Grantmaking Ability, But Still In Charge Of Failed Government-Run Network

April 14, 2017

In a handful of blog posts over the last few months, the Coalition for the New Economy has explored the failure of Massachusetts’ statewide, government-owned network, MassBroadband123. This network has consumed nearly $90 million in taxpayer funds, $45.4 million from federal taxpayers and $44.3 million in “matching” funds from Massachusetts. Now, according to a report …

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Massachusetts Tries To Force Contractor To Operate Government Broadband Network Amid Mounting Losses

April 5, 2017

Based on comments last Friday in federal court, it seems likely that many of the government institutions and other entities that are connected to the network will find themselves without a broadband connection.  According to Government Technology, in court last week Robert J. Kaler, a lawyer representing the Bay State, “raise[d] doubts” about whether the …

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Operator Of Bay State Taxpayer Broadband Network Files For Bankruptcy

March 24, 2017

The Coalition for the New Economy reported last month that Massachusetts’ taxpayer-financed broadband network was in bad shape. Now, according to a report Wednesday in the Boston Globe, “The company that runs the state-owned high-speed broadband network in Western Massachusetts filed for bankruptcy protection … claiming the operation has been losing money from its inception.” …

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Massachusetts Middle Mile Network A $90 Million Failure

February 27, 2017

In 2008, Massachusetts officials handed over more than $40 million in state taxpayer dollars to provide broadband to underserved communities. The project, which came to be known as MB123, was a middle mile system that was supposed to connect 123 towns, 73 of which (59 percent) already had access to broadband service. How are things …

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