BROADBAND UPDATE MONDAY MAY 18, 2020
Matrix Engineering Manager Zachary Magid working on the South side of Town Hall outside the completed Equipment Room
Despite less than perfect weather and a recent 18 hour town-wide power outage, Matrix and Triwire crews continue to put in ten hour days significantly moving our Broadband Project forward.
During the next few weeks expect to see crews working literally all over town as they continue to bring fiber-optic cable to individual homes and businesses.
Friday crews were spotted working on bringing the Network Fiber to the Barre town line on East Street, Maple Lane, North and South Main Streets, Hardwick Road, Spring Street, Route 122, and Barre Road.
More and more you can expect to see highly specialized splicing vans performing some of the over 10,000 fiber splices required for the optimum performance of the network. This precise work requires complete environmental control and as you can see in the photos below, the network fiber is run into the van where the splicing process takes place.
SPLICING VAN WORKING ON THE CORNER OF OLIVER AND SOUTH MAIN STREETS
Click here to see how fiber-optic cable is spliced together:
BROADBAND UPDATE TUESDAY MAY 5, 2020
Work continues this week with more than six Matrix/Triwire crews working in town.
Specialized crews were also working this past Saturday in several areas.
Yesterday Matrix, Town and Broadband MLP Board representatives presented an outdoors update to the residents of the woodward and Carter Pond Road area regarding the trenching work that will be required during the final stages of the project. All participants followed social distancing and face covering protocols.
Some crews are now engaged in the critical fiber-optic splicing aspects of the project you can expect to see them working at various “junction points” throughout town. See our BlogPost describing the splicing process. Our project requires more than 10,000 individual splices.
Because of social distancing requirements and in the interest of efficient project operation it is requested that residents do not interact with project crews while they are in town.
BROADBAND UPDATE TUESDAY APRIL 28, 2020
Matrix and subcontractor crews will restart the street-side construction phase
of the town-wide Broadband Project on Tuesday, April 28.
When the home activation phase begins in approximately late May–June,
subscribers will be contacted directly by Matrix to arrange the individual
interior installation schedule. At all times, Matrix will strive to meet the
needs of each homeowner’s situation and appreciates the cooperation of
subscribers to ensure a safe, efficient, and successful installation for all.
WORK DURING COVID-19
The Matrix crews will be following a corporate-wide COVID-19 Safety Program
at all times; this includes following the recommendations of the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration
(OSHA). While crews are working on Petersham streets, it is important that
residents maintain their distance so the contractors can remain focused on
their work. At the time of home installation, all crew members will be wearing
full personal protection equipment.
As always, any questions about the project may be directed to the town at
978-724-3353. Matrix and the Broadband MLP Board will endeavor to answer all
questions. For ongoing project updates, visit www.connectingpetersham.com
BROADBAND UPDATE FRIDAY APRIL 17, 2020
During the past three weeks more than 240,000 feet (45 miles) of US manufactured network fiber-optic cable has been delivered to Petersham
The vast majority of back ordered parts and pole hardware orders have now been delivered despite severe Covid-19 related disruptions to worldwide equipment supply chains
Matrix network engineers working both here in Petersham and in New Jersey have continued the installation of network electronics in the Town Hall Equipment Room
A 450 Mbps wireless connection has been activated at the Town Hall and will be available outside the building in the event of emergency disruptions to our increasingly overtaxed Verizon DSL Internet connections
More than 20% of Petersham’s 425 Broadband subscribers have had fiber-optic cable attached to the outside of homes and businesses
Despite this good news, the increasing incidences of Covid-19 related infections and the corresponding safety measures that have been implemented both here in Massachusetts and in New Jersey, where Matrix is headquartered, have resulted in the cessation of further broadband-related construction until at least April 27th.
This decision which is based upon safety considerations for both Matrix crews and for Petersham residents (the actual installation of customer fiber connections requires Matrix crews to enter customers’ homes and for customers to be present while the work is being completed) is entirely appropriate.
As much as we all want to see our long-awaited Broadband project completed, our overriding consideration is, and must continue to be, the health and safety of the residents of the Town of Petersham.
UPDATE Tuesday March 31, 2020
UPDATE Friday March 6, 2020 – Today is day 61 of the construction phase of Petersham’s Broadband Network (32 work days – 4 10 hr days ea week).
117,000 feet (22 Miles) of fiber-optic cable has been installed on our poles.
More than 20% of all subscribers have had fiber-optic cable run from the street to the outside of their homes (20,000 feet of Fiber to the Home).
The required Town Common underground conduit contract has been approved and work will be completed on this critical north-south connection within the next few weeks.
The 70 mile fiber-optic connection between the Equipment Room in the Town Hall and our Internet back-haul provider in Cambridge is now live.
All Calix network electronics; servers, switches, trouble-shooting hardware, billing software and disaster recovery software, have undergone extensive testing and will be permanently installed in the Town Hall by Matrix engineers on March 16-17.
The network is scheduled to be turned on by the end of the month with live connections to the Town Hall, Petersham Town Offices, and other beta test locations in the center of Town.
Current Logistical Issues; Additional pole work is on a temporary hiatus as we await the delivery of the final 248,000 feet (47 miles) of US manufactured network fiber-optic cable scheduled for delivery on March 31st.
World-wide supply chain issues related to the Coronavirus have slowed the delivery of various non-electronic foreign manufactured project equipment (splice boxes, racks, hangers). All but a few items have now been delivered and we expect to have the remainder of all required equipment in hand by the end of the month.
Over the next few weeks subscribers will be receiving several mailed notifications from Matrix detailing:
1. How to prepare for your equipment installation
2. Information on phone services
3. Billing information regarding long driveways
OVERALL PROJECT STATUS
Based on the materials delivery schedule shown above, Matrix projects Phase 1 – composed of streets emanating from the Equipment Room in the Town Hall and making up approx. 70% of all subscribers, will begin to be connected to the Internet in April and is still on track to be finished by June 1st.
Matrix projects that Phase 2 – which is comprised of the approximately 30% of all subscribers beyond the center of Town, will be connected during June, July & August and the project will be fully completed by September 202o.
UPDATE Tuesday February 4, 2020 – Today is day 30 of the construction phase of Petersham’s Broadband network ( 16 work days).
THIS WEEK MATRIX AND THEIR SUB-CONTRACTORS HAVE BEGUN TO RUN FIBER OPTIC CABLE AERIALLY TO INDIVIDUAL HOMES AND BUSINESSES. YOU WILL BE SEEING SHORT ROLLS OF FIBER ATTACHED TO THE SIDE OF BUILDINGS. THIS IS PREPARATORY WORK AND THE ACTUAL INSTALLATION OF YOUR BROADBAND CONNECTION IS MORE THAN A MONTH AWAY. YOU WILL BE CONTACTED BY MATRIX INDIVIDUALLY AS THE APPOINTMENT DATE FOR YOUR LIVE CONNECTION APPROACHES.
THOSE OF YOU WITH UNDERGROUND CONDUIT INSTALLATIONS WILL ALSO BE CONTACTED BY MATRX AS YOUR DATE FOR CONNECTION APPROACHES.
Work continues on Maple Lane, Quaker Drive, Glasheen Road, South Street, Oliver Street, Barre Road, Nichewaug Road, South Main Street, Spring Street, Hardwick Road, West Street, West Road, and portions of Route 101 and Shaw Road. Work has also begun on North Main Street and fiber is heading towards the Athol town line.
In order to speed the project along multiple crews are now working a four day week, but for longer hours each day. This avoids additional travel time to and from Petersham. The Select Board and Broadband MLP Board have approved the contract for the required conduit work along the Town Common and work should be completed by Feb/March.
Actual conduit will be placed on the common side of the street
This is the largest most complex project ever undertaken by the Town of Petersham
A total of 500,000 feet of fiber will be installed (94 miles)
More than 70% of all residents have signed up for service
As of Tuesday February 4th more than 20 miles of fiber-optic cable has already been hung
Stainless steel support strands used to carry the multiple local network “back-Bone” fiber have been installed on South Main Street, Spring Street, Hardwick Road. Multiple fiber-optic cables are now being attached.
A seventy mile fiber connection between the Petersham Town Hall and our Internet “Back-Haul” provider in Cambridge MA has been installed and tested.
Matrix Fiber Connect/Petersham servers (4) have been assembled and testing has been completed.
Another 47 miles of special order Fiber Optic Cable is scheduled for delivery in March.
The tentative completion date for the entire project, with all subscribers connected, remains June/July 2020.
UPDATE Saturday January 25, 2020 – Today is day twenty of the construction phase of Petersham’s Broadband network (14 work days).
BROADBAND INFORMATION MEETING TODAY AT 4:00 PM -TOWN HALL
UPDATE Thursday January 16, 2020 – Pole hardware has been installed on East Street, Maple Lane, Quaker Drive, Glasheen Road, South Main Street, Oliver Street, Spring Street, South Street.
Stainless steel support “strands” have been installed on South Main Street.
Fiber-Optic cable has now been hung on much of East Street, all of South Main Street, and South Street, portions of Barre Road.
Conduit trenching along the Common which will allow the project to proceed up North Main Street should be completed in early February.
The Town owned half-mile long conduit connecting the western and eastern sides of town via Monson Turnpike was completed last summer and will be connected once the project reaches the end of West Road.
All of the project Equipment Room electronics and servers (4) have been delivered and are undergoing set-up, software installation and testing by Matrix network engineers.
The automatic backup generator for the Broadband Equipment Room has been installed and tested.
The current Matrix schedule anticipates getting a one mile radius from the center of town connected during the month of March and the entire town fully connected in June-July of this year.
Our Broadband project is now fully underway
Very soon, when your connection is complete
Your will be sending and receiving data over the Internet at virtually the speed of light
We will be connecting faster & more reliably than 95% of other towns in the US
UPDATE Friday January 10, 2020 – Bucket Truck Crews continue to work in the center of town installing pole hardware, and in places where network “backbone” fiber will run, installing 1/4″ stainless steel cable designed to support and lash together multiple fiber lines (1-4) increasing the the efficiency of the network and making the overall build more aesthetically pleasing (visually you will see one overhead cable instead of 3 or 4). Matrix and Matrix subcontractors are now scheduled to work every day until final completion of the network late this spring.
At last night’s Zoning Board of Appeals hearing the application for a 160′ Petersham cell tower was denied. Please keep in mind that once your home is connected to high-speed Broadband the average smart phone will be able to automatically route all your calls (incoming & outgoing) through your fiber-optic connection to the Internet with consistent “five bar” coverage within your home or business. Just one of the many benefits of our new Broadband network.
Please see today’s Project Blog section where we provide updated information regarding the TV viewing options that will soon be available. Additional information regarding television viewing options will be presented at the Broadband Information meeting scheduled for January 25th – 4:00 PM – Town Hall.
BREAKING NEWS January 6, 2020 Initial Broadband Construction Area: Work will be starting in the center of Town > East St > Maple Lane >Quaker Drive > Glasheen Rd > Oliver St > South Main St > Barre Rd on Monday 01/06.
UPDATE Thursday January 9, 2020 Pole hardware installation has been completed along the following routes (highlighted in blue on the screenshot below) East St from the Town Hall to Maple Lane – Oliver St from South Main Street to the end of South Main Street.
During the next few days crews will be working on installing cable support strands from the Town Hall to Spring St and around to Hardwick Road. Additionally, four Internet server units will be delivered tomorrow. Matrix teams will be working shortly on the ISP, and VoIP servers to ensure that we can get the Town Hall Equipment Room online as soon as possible. Watch for updates at: www.connectingPetersham.com
After almost one year of on and off effort, both National Grid and Verizon
have now completed the Make-Ready work on Petersham’s more than 1,900
utility poles and the State of Massachusetts has completed the repositioning
of its fiber-optic Middle Mile cable making room for Petersham and its
project partner Matrix Design to begin hanging our own fiber and to start
connecting our more than 400 prepaid subscribers.
Watch for crews installing pole hardware beginning on Monday January 6th,
to be followed up by Matrix crews hanging more than 47 miles of fiber-optic
cable at an anticipated rate of more than one mile per day. These crews will in turn be
followed by residential and business network installation crews whose job it will be to
bring a true high-speed Internet connection to your home or business.
Serving all landscapes across the country, we specialize in fiber optic network deployments and complete broadband solutions. Our mission is to enable communities, cooperatives, municipalities, and utilities the ability to provide best-in-class broadband communications networks. From feasibility studies, budgeting, underground conduit and aerial cabling, and bridge crossings, Matrix will provide everything from concept to completion.
As a full service telecommunications design firm, we perform a variety of public and private sector projects involving complete communications networks. Whether it’s business planning and financial solutions or designing a new Fiber To The Premises (FTTP) network, Matrix provides value and savings by being the only source for all your project needs.
Our professional staff strives to understand the complexities of each project in order to develop an efficient and effective engineering solution. Our success is built on providing a transparent project environment where clients and their partners are actively involved in the process. We offer unmatched professionalism through a stringent quality control program. Matrix is dedicated to delivering the best services that meet our customers’ needs.
Where We Work
Matrix is capable of working anywhere in the country. We’ve completed projects from the west coast to the east. From a Smart Grid communications project in Utah, to providing Fiber To The Home (FTTH) in New England, our team will travel anywhere they need in order to complete the job on time and within budget.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 27, 2019
Phoenix Communications working on Route 32 Tuesday Morning 11/26/19
Petersham’s Broadband project continues to move steadily forward.
After an eight-month wait, during which Matrix/Petersham was forbidden from placing any of our fiber on our poles, both utilities, National Grid & Verizon, have now issued licenses completing the twenty six Pole Applications Make Ready process.
Despite these delays, Matrix is committed to working throughout the coming winter months to meet our scheduled project completion date this Spring.
Work on moving existing fiber on 157 poles on the State’s Middle Mile fiber network which runs along ten miles of our poles is ongoing and should be completed by next week (12/07). Look for the white Phoenix bucket trucks.
After more than ten years of effort, Petersham’s Broadband project will now be officially in our hands.
In the last three weeks, two deliveries totaling more than 37 miles of Matrix fiber optic cable have been made to Petersham.
$500,000 of electronic equipment for residential connections, field switches, and the Equipment Room electronics, representing just a portion of Matrix’s project investment have been delivered and are being tested.
A live gigabit Broadband connection has been installed and tested in the Lower Town Hall Equipment Room linking Petersham to Boston
Having just recently learned that the State’s underground conduit (installed in 2014) which runs along Common Street was not installed with a large enough diameter to also accept Petersham’s projet fiber, we are moving quickly to finalize a separate route for our fiber to follow in order to connect with North Main Street.
High Speed Broadband has been a long time coming
It is worth the wait
Very soon, when your connection is complete
Your family will be sending and receiving data over the Internet at virtually the speed of light.
Our Petersham community will be connecting faster and more reliably than 95% of the cities and towns in the rest of the United States
WHY FIBER ?
Fiber-optic cable is one of the purest of man-made objects. It’s made in an almost incomprehensibly precise way. It has to be so pure, so clear, that it can transmit light over many dozens of miles without any boosting or encouragement, and without losing any of the information that has been encoded onto that light. To get that clarity, its manufacturers control every micron and every second of the manufacturing process.
Only fiber will facilitate the exponential growth of innovation and productivity in transportation, energy, health care, manufacturing, education, government services, and public safety that will keep our living standards rising as they have in the past. Better lives, a sense that future generations will live better than we do—this sense of hope is not just an economic good but an essential requirement for our developing world
Excerpted from Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It, by Susan Crawford. Copyright © 2018, published in January 2019, by Yale University Press. All rights reserved.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 1, 2019
The massive rain and windstorm of several weeks ago took down dozens of trees and utility wires and left the entire town of Petersham without electricity for almost three days. This resulted in an understandable Broadband project delay. Repairs have been completed, we are now back on schedule and construction should begin very soon.
This week all pre-subscribed residents should have received the following mailing from our Broadband Partner Matrix Design. If you did not receive this mailing additional copies can be picked up at the Town Office.
As we quickly approach the fiber to the home network build, we are reaching out to find out some important information from each of our subscribers. In this packet you will find information regarding how the network will make it to your home, as well as your WiFi and Internet Phone options.
Please take some time to carefully review the information within this packet. When you are finished, please fill out the form on the last page and return it to the Petersham Town Hall.
We thank you for your continued support and we look forward to bringing Petersham on line very soon!
The Matrix Connected Fiber Team
UNDERSTANDING AERIAL & UNDERGROUND CABLING
In order to bring our fiber optic network to your home, our work crews will need to find a path from the last telephone pole closest to you, to the interior of your home. This can happen in one of two ways: Aerial or Underground. Aerial cabling is when a cable is hung in the air, and suspended on telephone poles or attached to a home or building. In other cases, cable is run underground through conduits.
It is important that, prior to installation, you let us know how your home is currently accessed by other utilities. Luckily, finding out how your home is fed is very simple:
- If you can see any wires coming directly to your home through the air from a telephone pole, then your home is aerial.
- If not, then your home is likely to be underground.
Be sure to check carefully. Any cable that travels through the air to your home will classify you as an aerial connection. Even if your home uses a mix of aerial and underground cabling, we will always choose to connect to you aerially if other utilities have connected aerially as well.
Once you have checked how your home is fed, please make a note of it on the form included on the last page of this mailer.
INTERNET PHONE SERVICE
An Internet Phone line is a digital replacement for your existing telephone landline. If you choose to use the Internet Phone package, your current phone number can be moved over to the new system. The service provides unlimited calling throughout the United States and Canada, plus all the standard telephone features you enjoy today. The service would be delivered over your fiber optic connection, but would still work with the existing devices and wall outlets you currently use in your home.
If you do opt for the Internet Phone Service, a battery back-up unit will be part of your installation. The battery back-up unit is rated for up to 8-hours of stand by back-up time, and is installed to help insure that even if the power goes out, you will still have “dial tone” and be able to make calls for the duration of the battery’s charge.
More than one Internet Phone line can be installed in a home, but we would have to know in advance so the right equipment can be installed. An Internet Phone Line should not be used to replace an existing fax line or a telephone line that is used as part of a home security system.
The Internet Phone Service costs an additional $20 per month (plus approximately $5.50 tax), per line. Additionally, Matrix will install an emergency battery back-up unit which costs $5.00 per month.
If you choose not to receive the Internet Phone Service, your second installation payment will be lowered from $250 to $150 and no battery back-up will be installed.
Once you have decided on a plan, please make a note of it on the form included on the last page of this mailer.
MANAGED WIFI SERVICE
The Managed WiFi Service means that Matrix will be providing and installing a WiFi Router for you as part of your network connection. This WiFi router will allow for plug-and-play connectivity to our network with no set up required for you. The unit also enables advanced troubleshooting capabilities that will help Matrix troubleshoot and eliminate any issues you might have on your home network, should they arise.
Without the Managed WiFi Service, Matrix will only be able to troubleshoot our network up to your home. We will not be able to troubleshoot your WiFi Router. Therefore, the Managed WiFi service is highly recommended.
Managed WiFi costs an additional $5 per month.
Managed WiFi Equipment:
Calix 844E GigaCenter 802.11 AC WiFi router
Once you have decided on a plan, please make a note of it on the form included on the last page of this mailer.
OCTOBER 7, 2019 UPDATE
91,000 feet (17.4 miles) of Broadband Project fiber-optic cable was delivered to Petersham last week. This delivery represents approximately 1/3 of the total fiber that will be installed as part of our high-speed Broadband project.
Also last week, Verizon Make Ready Project management reported to Matrix Engineering Manager Zach Magid that Verizon expects to wrap-up all remaining work in Petersham within the next several weeks.
Completion of this work and the issuance of final pole licenses will move the remainder of Petersham’s Broadband Project over to the Town and to our project partner Matrix Design.
In all instances so far where Matrix has been in control of the process, their work has been completed on-time or in many cases has been completed early and on budget.
The seventy mile fiber-optic connection from the Equipment Room located in the Town Hall to the Internet back-haul provider in Boston is now “live”. All project Broadband connections will be distributed from this source location.
The nine-year-long process of bringing Broadband to the citizens of Petersham is about to begin in earnest.
Update September 21, 2019
On Saturday 9/21 we had a good turnout for our latest Broadband Information Meeting with about 60 people in attendance.
The Internet connection between the Broadband Equipment Room in the Lower Town Hall is now “live”. This 70 mile fiber connection between Petersham and the Boston Internet “back-haul” provider will be the source of all resident connections. Matrix is ready to start hanging fiber and connecting customers the minute Verizon finally completes the 15% of the utility pole Make Ready work remaining. This is a major project milestone.
Although the vast majority (90%) of Broadband connections will be made aerially and no preparation work needs to be done by the homeowner, the meeting did review the procedure for the approximately 40 customers getting their communication services via underground conduit.
A representative from The Irrigation Company from Princeton was in attendance. He spoke with a number of folks after the meeting regarding conduit installation issues.
For those people needing to install new underground conduit piping in order to be ready for the Matrix installation teams, a list of local conduit installers is available at the Town Office.
This is merely an informal local vendor list and residents are free to do the work themselves or have it done by any contractor of their choosing.
Petersham resident Brad Becker owner of Becker Home Inspections has offered to be available, for a fee, to inspect existing conduit to help residents determine if it is fiber-ready. Again, he is a possible contact point only. Residents can inspect their own conduit or seek help from anyone they wish.
Matrix does not do pre-connection conduit inspections and it is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that their underground conduit is ready for fiber installation. The Matrix “Conduit Guide” is available at the Town Office.
A list of current TV streaming options has been created and is available at the Petersham Town Office. There will be a TV specific information meeting sometime within the next six weeks.
Giant spools containing more than 47 miles of fiber-optic cable will be delivered shortly to the Highway Barn in preparation for the start of hanging the fiber on our 1900+ utility poles.
Once Verizon signs off on their pole work, Matrix teams will begin hanging more than a mile a day of fiber-optic cable.
The official Matrix Petersham Broadband website is currently in Beta testing and should be up and running within a few weeks.
Although the Petersham Broadband project has been slowed by numerous State and utility company delays, in every instance where aspects of our project have been carried out directly by Matrix, the work has been completed on time (often sooner) and on budget. We expect that the construction & connection portion of the project will be carried out by Matrix in a similar fashion.
September 6, 2019 Update
Petersham now has 411 paid Broadband subscribers representing more than 75% of all homes and businesses * State signed Broadband reimbursement grant in the amount of $880,000 last February * Matrix has reduced connection fee from $500 to $400 for those customers opting not to purchase telephone service * Broadband utility pole Make-Ready work (1900 poles) carried out by National Grid began on Monday April 3rd * National Grid contractors completed their work in record time on May 21st * Verizon crews began the final portion of the Make Ready work on May 22nd * Verizon crews have taken longer than expected but should be finishing up their work shortly (85% complete as of 9/3) * Matrix crews have been ready to begin the process of hanging their fiber-optic cable and connecting homes for many months but can not start until Verizon signs-off * 47 miles of fiber-optic cable is in the process of being delivered * Matrix is now scheduled to begin hanging fiber-optic cable within the next month * 70 Mile long Fiber connection between Petersham Broadband Equipment room in Lower Town Hall and Internet “Back-haul” provider in Boston was completed on August 27th * High Speed Broadband link to Town Hall Equipment Room scheduled to go live by late September (a wired/wireless high-speed connection for residents to try out will be available) * Mile long Town-owned buried fiber-optic cable connecting the East & West sides of Town is currently being installed under Matrix supervision and will be completed by September 12th * The center of Town should be connected by October-November * Entire Town should still be connected by late spring.
Petersham Broadband MLP Board – Broadband Project Strand Map details our
commitment to provide connectivity to 100% of the town’s residents
The Broadband equipment that Matrix will be installing at subscriber homes and businesses will be the latest and most technically advanced available from CALIX, a world leader in networking infrastructure.
– Every subscriber will be getting an 803G
844E GigaCenter – any anyone who signs up for the managed WiFi service will also be getting an 844E
Petersham Broadband Network Equipment Room Nears Completion
Through careful collaboration with our project partner Matrix Design Group
Petersham has been able to save nearly $75,000 dollars by locating the
town-owned Broadband Network Equipment Room in a newly constructed facility
in the down stairs of the Town Hall. This innovative approach enabled us to
not only save money, but also eliminated the need to purchase the large,
unsightly concrete and steel prefab buildings being used in many other
Throughout the planning phases of our Broadband Project, protecting the
environment and aesthetics have been a top priority. Where ever possible
town owned fiber installations connecting remote areas within the town are
scheduled to be located out-of-sight in armored underground conduit.
Concise Project Time-line 2016–2018
*February 2019 -*
After more than nine years of effort, Petersham reaches a funding agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Mass Technology/ Massachusetts Broadband Institute) guaranteeing a Broadband Reimbursement Grant in the amount of $880,000. This grant becomes payable to the Town upon completion of the Broadband Network in the Spring of 2019. This funding reduces Petersham's anticipated overall Broadband Project cost to just over $500,000. The cost to Petersham taxpayer's will be far less the the cost for any of the other 45 rural Central & Western Mass communities currently building Broadband networks.
*November 2016 –* Petersham issues an RFP for Broadband network services.
Only one proposal is received, from Matrix Design Group.
*November 2016-* The State acting through the Massachusetts Broadband
Institute issues a Request For Proposals (RFP) for possible cable company
provided Broadband services for all 45 of the “unserved communities”
*December 2016 – *In its second largest meeting ever, Petersham by a vote
of 299 to 7, authorizes $560,000 for broadband Make-Ready work contingent
on signing up a minimum of 250 customers and that no cable offer is
received through the State RFP in February 2017.
*February 2017 –* The MBI RFP for potential Cable Provided Broadband
services receives offers for only six communities. Petersham does not
receive an offer.
*February 2017 —* MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) is signed between Town of
Petersham and Matrix.
*March/June 2017 —* 359 customers (70% of the homes in town) sign-up and
submit $250 presubscription payment (held in Treasurer’s Escrow Account)
for high-speed Internet service.
*July 2017 —* Detailed Matrix Pole Data Survey is completed in record time.
*July 2017 –* Town issues RFP for Network Equipment Room construction.
*August 2017 –* Town opens and takes under advisement Equipment Room bids.
*September 2017* — Matrix Route Strand Map is completed in Petersham.
*September 2017 *— Network equipment room is built in Town Hall.
*November 2017 — *Formal agreement is signed between Matrix and Petersham.
(Contract is vetted and approved by the law firms of Kopelman & Paige; Schenck,Price, Smith & King; and LeClair-Ryan.)
*November 2017 -* Required utility company surety bonds are acquired
and proof of insurance documentation is submitted to utilities.
*November 2017 —* Matrix completes preliminary fiber network design.
*December 2017 —* 26 pole attachment applications are completed and run
through a rigorous quality control check.
*January 2018 *– All 26 utility pole attachment applications are submitted –
13 for Verizon and 13 for National Grid.
*March 2018 –* Utility subcontractors complete their field review of pole
lines. Petersham awaits their response*.
*June 2018 *– Petersham Select-Board and Broadband MLP issue RFP for new
Town-owned pole lines and/or buried conduit to connect East-to-West
sections of Town via Monson Turnpike.
*June 2018 – *Petersham Broadband MLP issues RFP for network equipment room
*July 2018 –* Network Equipment Room electrical work is completed and
Back-up generator is installed and tested.
*August 8, 2018 –* Four RFP responses for Town-owned Monson Turnpike fiber
connector are opened and taken under review.
**April-August 2018 *– Petersham continues to wait for final responses from
utilities to its 26 permit applications to attach fiber to poles.
Make-Ready work completed by the utilities is necessary before Matrix’s
construction of the fiber network can begin. Matrix’s schedule calls for
completion of all customer Broadband connections in the center of Petersham
with three months of utility Make-Ready completion. The final portions of
Town to be connected within six months of the completion of utility
*August 7, 2018 –* Select-Board and Broadband MLP Chair conference with
officials from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute and Massachusetts
Technology Council (MBI/MTC) to confirm scheduled vote to be held on
9/5/2018 and 9/11/2018 to authorize guaranteed State broadband
reimbursement grant funding to the Town in the amount of $880,000 based
upon completion of the milestones listed above and future network milestone
* September 5 / 11 2018- * By unanimous votes, the Board of Directors of
the Massachusetts Broadband Institute on September 5th and the Board of
Directors of the Massachusetts Technology Consortium on September 11th,
acting on behalf of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and
Economic Development voted to enter into an agreement to award Petersham
$880,000 under the State’s Broadband Grant program.
YOUR FEEDBACK QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ARE IMPORTANT TO US: firstname.lastname@example.org
Petersham Broadband MLP | 3 South Main Street, Petersham, MA 01366
Working to Build the Connection
Like many towns in the western part of Massachusetts, Petersham, through its appointed Broadband Committee, is working hard to find sustainable and cost-effective ways to provide modern Internet access to its citizens and businesses.
Petersham’s civic institutions are already connected to what is known as the MassBroadband123 “Middle-Mile Network” implemented by the Commonwealth; now the focus is to extend the same high-quality connection to the “Last-Mile” — that is to the homes and businesses of the community.
High Speed Access Today and Tomorrow
There is general agreement that reliable, high speed broadband internet has become a fundamental need just as electric and telephone service; its not a luxury.
Having broadband internet access is necessary for:
- Preserving real estate values and building the tax base
- Working from home for all types of businesses
- Educational opportunities for the youngest to the oldest student
- Access to news, books and online databases
- Healthcare networks and tele-medicine capabilities
- Civic alerts and notifications
- Online banking, shopping and business
- Online news and media (newspapers, magazines, broadcasts, blogs, etc.)
- Online entertainment (Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.)
- Online gaming (Xbox, Playstation, Wii, etc.)
- Access to social media and community (Facebook, InstaGram, Twitter, etc.)
What we have, Where We are Going
Petersham is defined by the Commonwealth as an “unserved” community because there is no cable service or broadband service that operates here. Currently the only options for internet access are Verizon DSL, satellite service, dial-up modems and spotty access via cellular systems. In today’s world of need and technology these options no longer qualify as viable, long term solutions.
More importantly, Verizon is no longer even connecting new subscribers to their Petersham DSL network and homeowners who let their subscription lapse lose the DSL option permanently. The newer you, or your neighbors, are in town the more likely it is that you will not have DSL service. The Broadband Committee is now hearing meaningful, real life stories on a regular basis about families and businesses negatively impacted by lack of reliable high speed service. This issue is hitting newcomers to Petersham the hardest, regardless of their geographic location in town.
In the end, none of the technologies currently available are truly future-proof and none of them can be classified as broadband using the federal FCC definition of the term. Each of these technologies also have their unique problems that make them unfavourable as long-term, sustainable solutions for Petersham.
– DSL speed is fundamentally limited by the physics of copper telephone wire and even now the network electronics at the local Verizon Central Office on East Street are aging and degrading.
Verizon has been publicly open about their plans to not implement upgrades to DSL.
– Satellite Internet is notorious for its slow speed and high network delays which make it unreliable for anything more than simple web browsing. Satellite Internet also has an infamous tendency to fail when it rains.
– Cellular-based Internet may eventually improve in the region but given the population-density and the wooded landscape it is likely that there will never be enough cellular coverage to make fast internet uniformly available in town. There are many locations in Petersham where one cannot even make a cell-phone call, never mind establish an internet connection.
Positively Moving Petersham Forward
To find a way forward the Petersham Broadband Committee has been working diligently for the past six years to develop a workable plan for the town’s Last-Mile connectivity. In those six years, the Committee has heard increasingly growing interest – that is, demand – from residents and businesses to find a solution.
The good news is that there is now a complete proposal in hand for building a smart, state-of-the-art, fiberoptic network in Petersham that will allow homes and businesses to make true high speed connection at reasonable fees.
This website is designed to keep the community informed and up-to-date on all aspects of this proposed plan. We hope you follow along, check this site regularly as the process unfolds, and reach out to the Broadband Committee at any time with your questions.
Broadband Committee contact: email@example.com .