Comcast proposes 96 percent broadband coverage in Goshen, Shutesbury

Staff Writer
Saturday, April 01, 2017

Residents in Goshen and Shutesbury could receive broadband service from Comcast under a proposal approved by the Baker-Polito administration and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.

Comcast’s proposal, in response to a request for proposals under the “Last Mile Grants to Provide Broadband Service to Unserved Towns in Western Massachusetts,” would also fill coverage gaps in Montgomery and Princeton.

Under the plan, MBI and the state would cover all of the public cost outlined in Comcast’s proposal, or $3.7 million.

“For each of these towns, this proposal would deliver competitive broadband connections while removing the need for long-term debt, which will free up funds for economic development projects that could complement and build upon the broadband network,” Peter Larkin, chairman of the MBI board, said in a statement.

Each town will decide whether to accept the proposal from Comcast, which would construct, own, operate and maintain the broadband networks. Goshen and Shutesbury have been asked to respond to the Comcast proposal by April 14.

But like a similar proposal approved by Charter Communications earlier this month, just 96 percent of the homes in Shutesbury would be covered by the Comcast proposal, leaving about 40 homes without broadband. In addition, the Comcast proposal would bring broadband to 96 percent of homes in Goshen.

The earlier Charter proposal focused on six communities, which also included New Salem, Egremont, Hancock, Monterey and Princeton.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.