West Springfield to review municipal broadband internet services for residents

Hampden County
Whip City Fiber_546692

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Mayor of West Springfield submitted a proposal to the Town Council to approve municipal broadband internet.

According to a news release sent to 22News from Mayor William Reichelt, the proposal includes a partnership with Whip City Fiber of Westfield Gas and Electric to provide municipal broadband service to West Springfield residents.

The Town Council meeting is scheduled for June 21 to review the following:

  1. Consider the approval of an intergovernmental agreement with WG&E
  2. The establishment of an enterprise fund dedicated to municipal broadband
  3. The first of two votes to establish a municipal light plant in West Springfield

“We have been researching different options to provide West Springfield residents with a high quality, reliable internet service,” Reichelt commented. “With the shift to remote learning and remote work over the past fifteen months, we have experienced the limitations of and frustrations with the internet options currently available in our area. With Comcast’s data cap implementation on the horizon, we knew that it was an ideal time for us to move forward with this significant investment in Town-owned infrastructure to ensure our residents have quality services available to them.”

Comcast’s data cap will charge residents extra for greater internet use. City councilors are asking state and federal lawmakers to take action. They want regulations for internet companies to ensure rates affordable for all residents. Saying, the internet is essential for families and businesses, people should not have to pay extra for it.

A representative for Comcast told 22News that these data caps will only affect a “very small percentage of customers who use more than 1.2 terabytes of monthly data.”

Westfield Gas and Electric has already partnered with 20 communities for Whip City Fiber broadband internet.

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