Monday, July 15, 2024

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TECH TALK: Culture Tech part 1

Have you ever considered how technology impacts culture? The Berkshires, a cultural mecca equidistant from Boston and New York, is especially susceptible to embracing tech.

Fiber expanding in downtown Great Barrington; officials tout economic impact

By the end of the summer, service is expected to be extended to the Mason Library and the town water department, known as the Great Barrington Fire District, on East Street.

‘Fiber connectivity’: Work on high-speed broadband for downtown Great Barrington begins

The precise territory to be wired is not set in stone, but it will likely be confined to both sides of Main Street from Castle and Bridge streets to the Berkshire Bank and Lee Bank buildings. The wiring of Railroad Street will likely be coordinated with the new pavement and sidewalks it will be receiving in the spring.

What a relief: real broadband coming to downtown Great Barrington

Town manager Jennifer Tabakin said the impacted area will include Castle Street, Railroad Street and both sides of Main Street from Castle Street to Elm Street.

Affordable high-speed, broadband options for Great Barrington include its own utility

With download speeds typically maxing out at 60 megabits per second, the Internet service offered by Spectrum is barely satisfactory for consumers and some business owners but not up to the task for those who make heavy use of the Internet to transfer large files, an increasing necessity as businesses rely more and more on digital communication.

Fearing competitive disadvantage, Great Barrington explores high-speed Internet connectivity

"I think Great Barrington needs to have a more robust business community than it currently does. Great Barrington needs to become that small town that, besides great food and culture, is also a very interesting place to set up your business and that's the missing piece." -- Tim Newman, WiredWest spokesperson who would move his business to Great Barrington if affordable high-speed communications were available

State picks up pace with rural broadband, ‘ignores’ WiredWest’s efforts to lower costs

Great Barrington, partially served by cable, should get broadband downtown, something Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin has said she is working on. “Great Barrington is our business district. For the town to fulfill its potential, everyone in the business district needs fiber.” -- State Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli

MBI hires high-priced lawyers, consultants; rural towns wait for broadband funding

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute paid $1.9 million to lawyers and consultants to undermine the WiredWest collaborative of 32 towns seeking to create a viable rural broadband, high speed Internet network.

While state agency reboots, Western Massachusetts languishes without high-speed Internet

“A market dominated by the major cable and telephone companies has failed to provide these citizens with what is fast becoming a basic need like electricity or water.” -- The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, in report recommending the WiredWest 32-town cooperative as the vehicle for providing essential broadband Internet connectivity for rural Western Massachusetts

State puts broadband on hold for rural western Massachusetts

“We are deeply concerned over the continuing delays, obfuscations, inadequate communication and lack of transparency, that continue to plague such efforts [to bring broadband to western Massachusetts]” --- Otis Citizens for Connectivity

State threatens to withhold funds from WiredWest member towns

“Affordable broadband Internet is no longer considered a luxury but rather an essential utility. The need for broadband in the 21st century is often compared to the need for electricity or phone service in previous centuries.” -- Mission statement on Massachusetts Broadband Institute web site

Otis out of broadband co-op, preferring to go it alone

They are replacing a plan where the WiredWest co-op is saying there will be repayment, with a plan where there is absolutely not going to be a repayment. They will be stuck with the debt service for 20 years.’ -- Tim Newman of New Marlborough, WiredWest spokesman

Wired West gains wide support for rural high speed, broadband network

“This is an incredible opportunity, a watershed moment for us to move forward and be as competitive as we possibly can and stay viable as a community in a global economy.” -- Tim Lovett, Berkshire Property Agents “Broadband is an essential infrastructure like electricity, water and roads. We have all things to make quality of life here so great, but if you can’t do business, it’s not an option.” -- Tim Newman, New Marlborough broadband advocate

Three western Mass. towns endorse funding for Wired West fibre optic network

At an information meeting in Mill River, Mass., Wired West advocate Tim Newman pointed out that the fiber optic network would provide a high level of service that has become an essential component of modern living. Communications giants such as Verizon and the cable firms such as Time Warner have not been willing to invest in this high level of service for rural communities.

Edge forum identifies high-speed Internet as key to Berkshire economic future

Stockbridge — Twenty years from now in the Berkshires, what infrastructure will we wish we had put in place to keep the area thriving, expand...
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