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The original item was published from 4/9/2021 2:01:02 PM to 4/30/2021 4:04:12 PM.

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Posted on: April 9, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Findings and recommendations from the Agawam Municipal Fiber Task Force

For Immediate Release

The Agawam Municipal Fiber Task Force has submitted a report on it’s findings and recommendations for next steps to Mayor William P. Sapelli. The Task Force reviewed the feasibility of the Town constructing and operating it’s own fiber network, partnering with another municipal fiber network, and/or the potential of a private company developing a fiber network to increase competition among internet providers.

Mayor Sapelli is pleased to announce that the Task Force determined that a third party carrier, OTELCO, plans to construct a fiber network system throughout the Town of Agawam and offer residents another alternative for internet services. Mayor Sapelli thanked the Municipal Fiber Task Force for their research and recommendations. “Clearly, this is good news for the residents in Town. Competition is a good thing and our hope is the residents benefit long term with reduced pricing, more options, and a faster and more reliable network.”  OTELCO plans to install a new fiber network throughout at least 80% of the Town and begin providing service within 2 years. 

Les Tingley is the Chair of the Task Force and noted that the option of the Town trying to operate it’s own fiber network was cost prohibitive. Estimates ranged between $10-15 million for construction alone. In addition, the complicated process the Town faced in receiving state approval to establish a municipal network would take well over 3 years. Mr. Tingley commented that OTELCO has a presence in Massachusetts already and “their plan is privately financed at no cost to the taxpayer in Town and will provide competition in the market faster than any other proposal.” The Task Force plans to continue to meet to monitor developments with OTELCO and also remain up to date on developments in the market.  

The Municipal Fiber Task Force is comprised of 7 individuals, Agawam residents Paul Jenney and Brian Burbank, City Councilor Rosemary Sandlin, the Town’s IT Director Jeff Hulbert, Cable TV Manager Les Tingley, and the Director of Planning and Community Development Marc Strange. 

William P. Sapelli, Mayor

 

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