By Jim Kinney
The state’s Make Ready program helped utilities and providers bring modern, high-speed internet to 28,000 households in rural Massachusetts with 40,000 poles and 2,000 miles of optical fiber over the last four years.
And much of that high-tech work involved the old-fashioned labor of tunneling through swamps, stringing cables across the Deerfield River with a kayak and slowly boring utility-pole holes into Western Massachusetts rock ledge.
Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who led the efforts of the Make Ready program, heard all those stories Thursday as they gathered with industry professionals from Comcast, National Grid, Verizon, Westfield Gas & Electric and others at the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow St., Holyoke, to celebrate the four-year process.
From Holyoke, Polito traveled to Shelburne Falls to announce regionalization and efficiency grants, including $200,000 for regional policing in Buckland and Shelburne; $187,000 for regional policing in Leyden and Bernardston; and $40,000 for reginal emergency medical services in Northfield.
The Pioneer Valley Planning Council received $95,000 for regional economic development planning in: Blandford, Brimfield, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Granby, Granville, Hadley, Hampden, Hatfield, Holland, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, Pelham, Plainfield, Russell, Southampton, Tolland, Wales, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Worthington.
Read the full Springfield Republican story here.