Boston Globe wrote:At a Special Town Meeting on Dec. 6, they [the town] voted to build their own $1.5 million broadband network — at an added cost of nearly $1 million over the Comcast offer.
Charlemont is one of several municipalities in Western Massachusetts puzzling over how to ensure that decisions about connectivity stay in local hands. Some residents are wary of trusting a big company to make decisions about such a crucial service.
“I like the idea that it will be owned by the town. It’s something that the town should be proud of,” said Trevor Mackie, a member of Charlemont’s broadband committee, which has been examining the puzzle of how to network the town for several years. If something goes wrong with the town-built system, he said, “You can talk to a person. You don’t have to talk to a corporation: Push 1 for this. Push 2 for that.”
One of the things that really excites me about this news is that internet connection is a municipal service. Fundamentally, the goal of a municipal service is to provide services, but the goal of a business is to make profit. That change in perspective should have major impacts in the long term. I am really hopeful that this becomes a trend that spreads everywhere.