AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced Thursday $13 million in grants that will be awarded to 86 communities across the Commonwealth to improve or build municipal fiber infrastructure.

The money will benefit more than a dozen municipalities and school districts in western Massachusetts for improving existing or creating new municipal fiber networks. The following cities and towns in western Massachusetts will receive grants:

  • Amherst – $295,925 – Extension of the existing municipal fiber network
  • Colrain – $400,000 – Creation of a redundant municipal fiber network for the towns of Colrain, Charlemont, Heath, Leyden and Rowe
  • Dalton – $60,844 – Creation of a new municipal fiber network
  • East Longmeadow – $159,000 – Expansion of the town’s existing fiber optic infrastructure
  • Easthampton – $250,000 – Creation of a new municipal fiber network
  • Egremont – $12,493 – Extension of its existing municipal fiber network
  • Hampden – $250,000 – Expansion of the town’s fiber infrastructure
  • New Salem – $12,730 – Installation of environmental and security monitoring equipment for the New Salem Municipal Light Plant’s fiber network
  • Northampton – $250,000 – Expansion of the city’s existing fiber infrastructure
  • Pittsfield – $205,089 – Expansion of the city’s existing fiber infrastructure
  • Washington – $244,000 – Creation of a redundant fiber network for the towns of Becket, Blandford, Otis, and Washington

“The delivery of government services, from public safety response to data security, is increasingly reliant upon strong and cohesive internet infrastructure,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This new Community Compact Cabinet program is the latest example of our Administration’s commitment to partnering with cities and towns to better serve residents, and we are proud to support their efforts to strengthen their municipal networks.”

“Given the rapidly changing landscape of information technology and the infrastructure required to support it, these inaugural municipal fiber grants will make a significant impact on local communities and governments in better serving their residents,” said Lt. Governor Polito, Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet. “As the Community Compact Cabinet Chair, I look forward to our continued partnership with all 351 of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, and I want to congratulate the award winners and thank all those involved for their continued commitment to their communities.”

The grant comes from the Community Compact Cabinet Municipal Fiber grant program established by the Baker-Polito Administration in the Fiscal Year 2022 Capital Investment Plan. Grant recipients are required to contribute a 5 percent local match.