Project Blog

02/6/2017

THE OPEN SUBSCRIPTION PERIOD FOR BROADBAND SERVICE IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN
AS SOON AS THE REVIEW OF NECESSARY LEGAL DOCUMENTS HAS BEEN COMPLETED BY
THE ATTORNEYS FOR PETERSHAM AND MATRIX.

While the Selectboard and the Petersham Broadband MLP understand that this
delay is frustrating, our anticipated partnership with Matrix is an
agreement lasting 20 years and beyond, and both parties want to make sure
that final details are completed properly.

AS SOON AS THE CUSTOMER SERVICE CONTRACT HAS BEEN COMPLETED, COPIES WILL
BE MAILED OUT TO EVERY HOUSEHOLD AND WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PICK UP AT THE
LIBRARY, POST OFFICE, COUNTRY STORE & QUABBIN WOODS.

While the open subscription period is scheduled to be available for three
months; your help in achieving the required 270 sign-ups ($250 of the total
$500) during the first 30 days would allow us to shave two months off the
overall construction schedule thus allowing some customers to begin
receiving Broadband service in the late summer/early fall of 2017.

01/24/2017

As required by the Dec 12th 2016 Special Town Meeting vote, residents of
Petersham have been waiting for the results of the State’s request for
proposals from cable companies for the 40 Massachusetts unserved
communities before Petersham moved forward with a pending agreement with
the Matrix Design Group for Broadband services.

On Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI)
announced the results of its process:

Only two qualified proposals had been received in response to their
request. Petersham was one of 32 towns of the 40 unserved communities that
had *NO* qualified offers for Broadband service.

With these results, the way is cleared for the Town to now move forward
with its plan to partner with Matrix who provided their proposal to
Petersham in October 2016 and had been waiting with the town to hear the
results of the State’s efforts.

The agreement with Matrix will make affordable, state-of-the-art, fiber
optic Internet available to all of the residents, students, and businesses
in Petersham within 24 months of the start of the Pole Survey process.

Matrix and Petersham are ready to start the first step (Pole Data Survey )
as soon contracts are signed and with the completion of at least 270
Petersham subscribers.

With this update on the status of the MBI process, the Selectboard, at a
joint meeting with the Broadband Committee on Jan. 24, appointed members to
the Petersham Broadband MLP Board which will replace the Broadband
Committee to facilitate the next phases of the implementation process and
provide oversight of the project. Forming the MLP for this purposes had
occurred with voters’ approval at two previous Town Meetings in 2015.

The Petersham Broadband MLP (made up of individuals from the Broadband
Committee as well as one member of the Selectboard) will move quickly to
work with the Town Treasurer and Town Accountant to setup the Broadband
Escrow Account creating an easy to use system for signing up subscribers.

A public announcement will be made as soon as that payment process has
been completed and the subscription process officially begins.

Although there will be a three month window for subscribers to enroll, if
Petersham is able to sign up 270 subscribers in the first thirty days, the
entire project timeline could be reduced by two months.

On behalf of the Petersham Broadband Committee and the new PBMLP Board, we
thank you for your support as Petersham moves forward to become only the
second of the forty unserved towns to achieve town-wide Broadband
connectivity. The PBMLP Board will be reaching out to residents with
regular updates, please watch for more information in the coming days as
the project moves forward.

 

12/21/2106
On Wednesday the Petersham Broadband Committee, at their regularly
scheduled December meeting, held their long awaited vote and forwarded a
unanimous recommendation to the Selectboard requesting that the Board
formally constitute the Petersham Broadband Municipal Light Plant Board at
their upcoming meeting scheduled for January 17, 2017.

This milestone comes as the Town moves forward towards its goal of
providing true high-speed Broadband availability to every resident, student
and business in Petersham within 24 months.

On Monday December 12th the Town by a near unanimous vote of 299 to 7
agreed to provide $560,000 to fund the necessary pole survey and Make-Ready
work to prepare its utility poles for the installation of fiber- optic
cable.

The Town’s chosen partner in this project, Matrix Design will invest
$1,759,000 to design, build and operate this state of the art fiber-to-the
home network.

It is anticipated that Petersham  will be ready to begin accepting
subscription payments by mid January to be held in a Treasurer’s Escrow
Account until a minimum of 270 subscribers has been reached and network
construction begins in April.

After more than eight years of effort, this will make Petersham just  the
second town, among the forty Central and Western Massachusetts unserved
communities, to begin actual fiber-optic network construction.

For weekly project updates please refer to the *Project Blog* coming soon
on the *ConnectingPetersham.com* and at* PetershamCommon.com.*