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State Broadband Initiative Provides Update on Last Mile Plans

In April of last year, the Massachusetts Broadband Initiative relaunched its push for connecting the last mile of broadband service. Since then the organization has crafted "paths forward" for the 45 of the 53 underserved communities remaining. The organization had moved away from the "one size fits all" model for expanding internet service to crafting plans for each individual towns. There are about eight communities left without some type of option in front of it and the organization hopes

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Hinds Gives BRPC Updates From the State House

Local organizations have great long-term plans for the future of Berkshire County. But, state Sen. Adam Hinds said the state needs to get the "fundamentals right" before that can take hold. Hinds spoke with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission on Thursday and reviewed the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. He said 1Berkshire also has a similar blueprint with how to revitalize the Berkshire economy. But, both plans are still two or more years away, he said.

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Williamstown to Propose Engineering Study to Look at Broadband

Voters likely will be asked at May's annual town meeting to fund an engineering study to look options for providing broadband Internet access in the town. Board of Selectmen Chairman Andrew Hogeland presented his colleagues on Monday with the report of an ad hoc working group that spent the last year on "a conceptual analysis on costs, benefits, and options for deciding whether [the] town should pursue generally available broadband access."

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City of Pittsfield Website Gets a New Look

The city has a revamped website that went live on Thursday with the goal of making Pittsfield's internet portal more visually vibrant and its information more accessible.

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Lanesborough Likely to Leave Wired West With MBI, Charter Planning Expansion

The Board of Selectmen are trusting Charter to connect close to 100 percent of residents to broadband and essentially cutting ties with Wired West. The Board of Selectmen voted during an emergency meeting Wednesday to forfeit future funding from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute and to instead allow Charter to receive a grant to build out the high-speed internet system.

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Charter Upgrading Internet, Cable in Lanesborough

On Aug. 2 high-definition cable access will be in most of Lanesborough and a week later, high-speed internet. In part of the merger with Time Warner Cable, Carter Communications is upgrading the systems in three Berkshire towns - Lanesborough, West Stockbridge, and Hinsdale. For weeks workers have been in various parts of the town replacing wiring and bringing the new digital signal to the majority of the homes.

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BRPC Hears Update To 'Last Mile' Broadband Plan

Finishing out the so-called "last mile" of broadband connectivity will take a flexible approach, giving towns an array of options to connect, according to Massachusetts Technology Collaborative implementation liaison Bill Ennen. Ennen was appointed to the role which serves as an middle man between the state's Massachusetts Broadband Initiative and individual towns in June at the same time former Pittsfield state Rep. Peter Larkin was appointed to chair the MBI board. The two are now heading t

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Williamstown Rural Lands Adds 'QR' Codes at Trailheads

WRLF has posted at the trailhead of three of its trails a QR (Quick Response) code that will enable a hiker with a smartphone who simply scans the QR code to download a trail map and a trail description, providing information about the length of the trail and its degree of difficulty, and describing the natural features to be encountered along the way.

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Clarksburg School Hoping for More Chromebooks

The School Committee was presented with the need for more Chromebooks for students as the school moves to a more online system. Graham Coterwas, IT director for the North Berkshire School Union, explained how the school has been moving to the cloud and using the Google document system for sharing projects and papers.

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Mount Washington Broadband Bill Awaits Governor's Signature

A bill giving the town the right to set up its own broadband service now goes to the governor's desk after being enacted by the state Senate. Mount Washington plans to build and operate a modern, fiber-to-the-home network to provide high-speed Internet access to its residents.

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