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February 19, 2014

High-speed Internet project for Central, Western Mass. complete

A project designed to increase Internet access for businesses and other organizations across Central and Western regions of the state is complete, according to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech).

The network, MassBroadband 123, is a 1,200-mile fiber-optic network that brings high-speed Internet to 1,200 facilities in 120 central and western Massachusetts communities. An initiative of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) at MassTech, the network was developed through industry collaborations with network operator Axia NGNetworks USA, network builder G4S, and the owner’s project manager, Tilson Technologies.

The benefits of the new network, which was three years in the making, include:

-Creation of a robust regional fiber backbone that lowers barriers for businesses seeking high-speed Internet access;

-Opportunities to enhance school curriculums through access to virtual field trips, online content and opportunities to learn to use digital technologies;

-Greater bandwidth in libraries in order to meet increasing digital needs of residents;

-Improved and enhanced public safety communications

“We’re grateful to all our partners for their engagement, counsel and support over the past three years, including the (Patrick administration), the (state) Legislature, community groups and local leaders,” interim MBI Director Phil Holahan said in a statement. “This coalition has been able to construct a much more robust solution than we ever anticipated, presenting as platform for future expansion and economic opportunity.”

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