Broadband internet still very much an issue in rural Franklin County

Franklin County

There are some parts of Franklin County where it’s almost impossible to find an internet connection.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito met with town officials in Buckland to check on the progress being made in getting more people access to broadband internet. 96 percent of Buckland residents are now connected.

“This has been a long haul for a lot of these small communities in western Massachusetts, but a major priority for Governor Baker and me and our team is to make sure that these Last Mile communities are now seeing these plans come reality,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

Polito is working with nearby Ashfield and Charlemont on their broadband internet projects.

“We’ve had to get really creative in finding even the little bit of funding we need, said Zach Turner, Member of the Buckland SelectBoard. “For some towns that have less residents than Buckland, its next to impossible for them to find it.”

Today we can access the internet right on our cell phones, but in these Franklin County hilltowns finding a connection is hard to come by. Residents view it as both an inconvenience and a public safety concern.

“If we don’t get connected our towns are going to die,” said Casey Pease of Worthington. “Its why I’m here, its why I’m really advocating for this issue because its so crucial to our small towns.”
Lt. Governor Polito said the state will pay 40 percent of the cost for communities to build broadband networks.

There are still more than 40 Massachusetts communities with partial or no broadband internet access.

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