Springfield Explores Municipal Broadband

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Springfield (MA) took its first step to explore whether it will become the first of New England’s five biggest cities to build a municipal fiber-to-the-home network. City officials are in the process of issuing a Request for Proposals to conduct a feasibility study to explore if Springfield will control its digital future by meeting “the growing demand for reliable and affordable Internet service.” The city is currently served by Comcast Xfinity and Verizon DSL. But, according to City Councilor Jesse Lederman, a leading advocate for better broadband in Springfield, the pandemic exposed a growing digital divide in the city while surrounding communities are increasingly being served by fiber networks. In Springfield, 31 percent of households have no Internet access whatsoever, while 37 percent of city households do not have a computer. Lederman sees a municipal fiber network in Springfield as an essential tool for bringing digital equity to the city.

Springfield Explores Another Potential First: Municipal FTTH Network