Hundreds of homes and small businesses in western Massachusetts towns now have better internet service. It’s part of the Commonwealth’s “Last Mile” effort.

The broadband extension program extended cable service to residences in communities that were only “partially served.”

In 2016, the Massachusett’s Broadband Institute awarded a grant of $4 million to Comcast to expand service in western Massachusetts in towns like Chester, Montague, Pelham, and Shelburne. That program has just been completed.

“It’s a big issue for western Massachusetts because of the rural areas like Leverett, Shutesbury, Pelham [and] other areas like that where residents don’t have the broadband access, so kids can’t do homework online,” Pelham resident Linda Spink told 22News. “It affects the resale value of their home and property.”

There is still more work to be done, but since 2016 the state has invested more than $30 million to increase broadband connectivity throughout western part of the state.