WORTHINGTON – Virtually every home in the city now has access to high-speed internet thanks to a $ 3.7 million project funded by the state, the city and Comcast.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and other officials visited the city on Thursday to mark the latest milestone in a multi-year effort to complete the “last mile” of Internet connections in underserved rural areas of the State.
“By expanding broadband access, we can level the playing field and allow residents, students and business owners to take advantage of new opportunities in the way people work, learn and do business,” Polito said. âThrough projects like this, we continue to make progress in bridging the digital divide and ensuring broadband access is available statewide. “
The Worthington broadband effort was funded by a $ 2.2 million grant from the Mass Broadband Institute and $ 750,904 from the city, with a capital investment of nearly $ 800,000 from the cable provider and Comcast Internet.
“Completion of the Worthington system is certainly a milestone and we look forward to the end of next year, when construction in all remaining ‘last mile’ towns is complete,” said Ashley Stolba, deputy. Secretary of State for Community Development. .
The Mass Broadband Institute received funding for the Last Mile program through a $ 50 million capital bond authorized in 2014 by former Governor Deval Patrick. Current Governor Charlie Baker approved an additional bond of $ 45 million for broadband infrastructure in 2017.
Baker’s administration said it has worked to bring the Internet to 28,000 homes and businesses in 53 cities – 44 unserved and nine partially served – in central and western Massachusetts. Of the 44 fully unserved cities, 25 now have fully operational networks, 16 have partially operational networks, and four are in various stages of design or construction.