Contractors are making steady progress on the design details of the network. The Broadband Committee work with the contractors to confirm design elements (through mapping, research, and onsite reviews): the fiber route, the existing poles to be used, and where new poles will be needed. Where needed to complete the town’s fiber network, the committee is approaching landowners to work out necessary details.

In order to string fiber on utility poles, we must submit applications to phone and electric companies. From there we will receive estimates from them as to how much it will cost for them to perform make ready (pole preparation) prior to our build. The submission of pole applications has started and we are one of the first towns to get to this stage of the network build. This is one of the most prolonged phases of the build and the timing, once the applications are submitted, is in the hands of the utilities. The State and Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E, our Project Manager) are all working diligently to accelerate the application and make ready process.

For regional assistance, design, and coordination, we continue to work with WiredWest. We also are participating, with other communities, in meetings that focus on regional design.

In March the State sent formal written notification to the Selectboard that additional money will be available to towns that experience cost overruns beyond the original MBI estimates and that New Salem is qualified to receive those funds if needed.

Further updates will be forthcoming as the project moves forward. If you have any questions please contact us at broadband@newsalem-massachusetts.org – the New Salem Broadband Committee