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Broadband Update

Tammy Daniels
Remember that $40 million initiative to bring broadband to the state's rural communities?

Well, you can find out what's been happening in a couple weeks when the director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, Sharon Gillett, and her staff comes to Great Barrington. The institute was created as part of the broadband measure to assess deficiencies in Internet access and develop a comprehensive plan for expanding broadband with private partners.

Reps. Denis E. Guyer and William "Smitty" Pignatelli, and Sen. Benjamin B. Downing will be on hand as well. The forum takes place from 3 to 4:30 on Friday, June 19, at Berkshire South Regional Community Center, 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington.

Guyer also passes along the news that the funding for the broadband bill will likely come from federal stimulus funds. The act included a $25 million bond - the governor's favorite way to fund projects - to creative an incentive fund overseen by the institute. 

According to Guyer's recent newsletter, "Governor Patrick filed a bill regarding the change which was heard last week by the Committee Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. Passage of this bill will better position Massachusetts to take full advantage funding through the American Recover and Reinvestment Act for broadband infrastructure. As a member of the committee, I was able to attend a hearing last week which included review of this bill and I will be working to get this passed."

If you're planning to attend the broadband forum, let them know at broadband@masstech.org or 508-870-0312, Ext. 1645.
Tags: broadband, Great Barrington, initiative, Guyer, Pignatelli, Downing      

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