A message from Robbie Leppzer, Chair of the Broadband Committee, March 3, 2015


After many years of organizing to bring high-speed fiber-optic broadband internet to Wendell and over 30 other towns in western Massachusetts that currently have no broadband access, I´m pleased to announce that WiredWest, the non-profit municipal cooperative that has spearheaded this effort, has now launched a customer sign-up campaign for the actual service.

In order to qualify Wendell to be part of this broadband network, a minimum of 40% of our households must sign up for the service by this spring by paying a $49 deposit (which will be counted towards the first month´s service).

You can sign up at: https://register.wiredwest.net/campaigns/become-a-fiber-town.

(To pay securely on-line you will be directed to pay via Amazon).

All town residents will be receiving a brochure with more details about the WiredWest community broadband project, a printed sign-up form with a return envelope for mailing back checks, along with a letter from the Wendell Selectboard by next week.

The good news is that the Wired West customer registration website has only been up for two days - with minimal publicity, and Wendell is already at 18% sign up (towards the minimum goal of 40%), far surpassing all other Wired West towns!

However, if Wendell, along with our neighboring towns of Shutesbury, New Salem and Warwick achieve an even higher sign-up rate, say 60% or above, we will stand a chance at getting our towns built out first in the multi-year, multi-town construction process.

So, please, I urge everyone to sign up as soon as possible!

If you have difficulty accessing the Wired West website from home, you will be able to access it at the library. In addition, we will be hosting upcoming community forums and community sign-up sessions throughout March and into the spring.

At this Saturday evening´s Wendell Full Moon Coffeehouse featuring Trailer Park, we will have computers available for people to sign up at the town hall from 7:00pm on.

This WiredWest sign up campaign is part of a multi-stage process to bring high-speed internet to Wendell and over 30 other towns in western Massachusetts.

After qualifying as a "fiber town," by reaching a minimum of 40% sign-ups, Wendell and all other "fiber towns" in WiredWest will need to pass a 2/3 vote at town meetings this spring to authorize the issuances of bonds. More information on this will follow in the coming weeks. The Baker administration recently confirmed its support for the $40-million dollar initiative passed last year by the Massachusetts Legislature, which began under the Patrick administration, to provide partial funding for this community-based broadband project for our region.

On a personal note, it´s quite gratifying to see our collective efforts finally bearing fruit.

I remember driving down to Springfield in December 2006 for a community forum with then Governor-elect Patrick. Several of us from Wendell spoke up about the need for high-speed internet for Wendell and other towns in western Mass. without broadband. We were then approached by several Patrick´s staff who asked us to follow up with a report and recommendations for how to implement broadband in our region.

After years of the Wendell Broadband Committee meeting with the Leverett and Shutesbury broadband committees, we all realized that we could have more affect if we band together with broadband committees across the region and that effort eventually led to Wired West, which Wendell is a member town.

We need volunteers to help with our outreach efforts. Please contact me if you can help.


Robbie Leppzer
Chair, Wendell Broadband Committee
(978) 544-8313