Town of Wendell, Massachusetts

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Home Broadband Committee
Broadband Committee

The Wendell Broadband Committee Mission

To facilitate the acquisition and installation of a high-speed Broadband network in Wendell by:

  1. Continuing to work towards bringing internet and technology to the entire town with an emphasis on high speed access to our schools, library, town hall, police and fire departments, small businesses, homebound residents, disabled residents, and seniors; 
  2. Continuing to analyze costs and financial options (whether in committee or by acquiring consult) to assure fiscal responsibility during construction and operation of upcoming network; 
  3. Working closely with Wendell's Select Board, making recommendations to the Board as necessary and appropriate; 
  4. Finding solutions that will best protect the rural character and pristine natural resources of our community;
  5. Finding solutions that support a local economy, local control, affordable and sustainable options to subscribers, and bring fiscally responsible and sustainable options for the town with regards to our Municipal Light Plant: Wired Wendell;  
  6. Consulting with, and working closely with our neighboring towns of Shutesbury, Leverett and New Salem; and 
  7. Working closely with EOHED, Westfield Gas & Electric, Holyoke Gas & Electric and WiredWest to assure that Wendell’s best interests are being served during the design, make-ready, light-up, and operation phases of the network. 

The Wendell Broadband Committee aims to create a town-owned fiber-optic network making high-speed Internet available to every Wendell residence and business. After many years of hard work, we are now underway. The current goal of operational service is January 2020. 

The Broadband Committee oversees both the construction and operations side of the project, alongside the Selectboard and Finance Committee. Our municipal light plant (MLP) is named Wired Wendell and is currently managed by our MLB/Selectboard. We are researching and looking toward managing the MLP in the best interest of the town which currently includes electing or appointing a separate municipal light board (MLB) to run the MLP separate from the town and utilizing an MLP Enterprise Fund which remains part of town accounts. We continue to watch the developing discussions from legal and financial professionals in the private sector and within state agencies as new laws and policies define, for the first time, the management of an internet-only utility. 

Wendell has contracted with Westfield Gas and Electric (WG&E), a 118-year-old municipal utility, to design, engineer, and construct our network. We are also moving forward to contract with WG&E/Whip City Fiber to be our network operator (NO) and Internet Service Provider (ISP) As a municipal light plant, WG+E prioritizes bringing high-quality service at the lowest possible cost. Through WG&E, Whip City Fiber has completed a construction design and our "make-ready" preliminary work has begun (Spring 2019). 

We encourage you to come to any and all meetings to learn more. The committee plans to have one or more town forums Q&A sessions in the Fall of 2018 to help all residents understand the details, feasibility, and impact of this exciting project. 



Wendell Broadband FAQs - 2019

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 Wendell Broadband FAQs - 2019

When will broadband be available in Wendell?

Our current construction schedule shows the network up and running in Sept 2019.

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Broadband Committee Fall 2018 Update

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Progress on the Wendell Broadband project continues to pick up speed as we move forward into check writing and preliminary construction aspects. Since our Spring update, we have gained much more information surrounding financial projections, passed several important milestones for design and make-ready, and we remain cautiously optimistic of a very helpful source of funding. A number of details are nearly finalized and discussions surrounding construction procurement have begun. Current projections still show the network going live around September 2019.

 

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Joint Broadband Committee 2018 Spring Update

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 Progress on the Wendell Broadband project is picking up speed. Since our winter update, we have passed several important design milestones and become aware of new potential sources of funding. A number of aspects of the project remain to be finalized, but at this point we have a clear idea of what information is needed in order to do so. Current projections show the network going live in September 2019.

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