The Municipal Light Plant Manager and the Broadband Committee have been working closely with Westfield Gas and Electric (WG&E), the company we have chosen to design and build our network. Much has been accomplished. Together with WG&E engineers and staff we have:

· Discussed and planned the design of the town network.

· Determined locations for new town-owned utility poles that will allow us to bring the network to the whole town.

· Worked with local landowners to acquire permission to place poles essential to the core network on their property.

· Determined a plan for tree removal and trimming where necessary to place poles or run fiber.

· Submitted applications to National Grid and Verizon requesting an assessment of the work they will need to do in order to accommodate the addition of our fiber to their poles (make-ready).

· Contracted for the design and build of the New Salem Hut, the communications hub of the network, which will be located near the Highway Department buildings on Wendell Road.

· Sought out potential funding sources to help support our build and operation costs.

Additional work has been done with:

· WiredWest to prepare for regional operations.

· The State, which is working to provide additional funding and has been working with the Utility companies to assure that this project is given the highest priority

Project progress will become more readily apparent to all of you over the next several months.

· Already you may have seen new poles being delivered and utility engineers surveying in preparation for make-ready work.

· Over the next few months:

o New town-owned poles will be installed.

o Tree work will begin.

o The hut site will be prepared and the hut will be delivered and installed.

o Increased activity by National Grid, Verizon and their contractors (Osmose and UCSynergetic) as they start make-ready work on the poles to prepare them for our build.

We know that biggest single question on everyone’s mind is when the network will be completed. According to our current schedule, the network should be ready to begin customer connections as early as Summer 2019.

We will provide project updates through the town website and the New Salem News. In the meantime, please email us with questions at broadband.

The New Salem Broadband Committee

MaryEllen Kennedy, Kathy Soule-Regine, Sue Cloutier, Paul Chapin, Sue Dunbar, Chris Misra