Charlemont is working to get high-speed internet to all residents

Franklin County

CHARLEMONT, Mass. (WWLP)- Most of us have the internet on our cellphones, or our home computer.

But for many Franklin County residents, high-speed internet is a luxury.

“We were used to having it through Comcast, but when we moved to Rowe we figured out quickly we didn’t have that option,” said Jim MaClennan of Rowe.

52 Massachusetts communities don’t have high-speed internet. Most of them are in rural areas. Finding a strong internet connection is hard to come by in Charlemont. The majority of their 1200 residents have to go to public buildings like Town Hall in order to get online.

“It’s so slow its unbelievable and 90 percent of the time I have to wait a day or two to just get online because its so slow,” said Lynn Garland of Charlemont.

Last may, the state awarded Charlemont a “Last Mile grant, ” providing a million dollars to build a town-owned fiber network. Charlemont SelectBoard chair Sarah Reynolds told 22News the town would need to supply additional funds.

Charlemont’s SelectBoard will meet with the Massachusetts Broadband Institute Monday night at town hall to review broadband proposals from private internet providers.

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