ASHFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Last Mile. it refers to the final communities in the state who didn’t have access to broadband, until now.

All 53 communities are online or partially online. A several year project that Governor Baker said will hopefully set up the incoming Healey administration to further close the digital divide.

“The $350 million in federal funds and state funds can be used far more strategically,” said Baker.

Speaking in Ashfield’s town hall leaders in this private and public collaboration took a moment to appreciate how far they’ve come. High speed internet virtually across the entire state. 40 thousand telephone polls and two thousand miles of fiber optic cables. It also comes with the announcement of two programs to take digital equity a step further

“Particularly for populations most impacted by COVID- 19 so these are important parts of the next iteration of this strategy. said Mike Kennealy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development.

The digital equity partners program will go towards regional planning agencies and non profits for programs to enhance internet access. And the municipal digital equity planning program will help communities provide feedback for decisions over future technology.

Now that it’s in Ashfield David Kulp is able to be a part of a small pharmaceutical company in San Francisco but their mission is close to home.

“We have our first drug heading into a phase three trial next year and the disease that we are fighting is metastatic breast cancer, the very same type that killed my wife, said Kulp.

Seven communities remain partially lit including Florida and Hawley.