Cape Cod Times: “High-speed internet push gains traction, hits speed bump”
Thursday, April 27th, 2017 @ 4:03PM
The front page of today’s Cape Cod Times included the following piece by their very own Geoff Spillane:
“State Rep. Randy Hunt, R-Sandwich, is leading a charge on Beacon Hill to bring fast and competitive residential internet service to the Cape and islands, but he hit a speed bump on Tuesday.
Hunt filed a budget amendment last week calling for the allocation of $225,000 by the state to develop a pilot program with the nonprofit OpenCape Corp. The proposed funding would be used to develop an alternative to Comcast for delivering high-speed internet services to residential customers in the region.
But when the House passed its more than $40 billion fiscal 2018 budget late Tuesday, the amendment didn’t make the final cut.
‘We have an unregulated monopoly (with Comcast on the Cape and islands) for this service because Verizon won’t cross the canal with its FiOS fiber optic service,’ Hunt said Wednesday, adding that OpenCape has an ‘unbelievably fast’ infrastructure that federal, state and county agencies have spent $40 million developing.
The OpenCape infrastructure is referred to as a ‘middle mile’ network, with a ‘last mile’ connection needed to bring the services into residential areas with fiber going straight into a building, or, in remote areas via wireless microwave antenna. OpenCape owns and operates a fiber optic network built for local governments, businesses, and residents of Southeastern Massachusetts.
‘I didn’t view this as a defeat,’ Hunt said about the amendment. ‘We created a lot of public interest and support for this.'”