Governor Baker visits Becket to highlight “Last Mile” program

Massachusetts News

BECKET, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Baker was in Berkshire County Tuesday to celebrate the ongoing construction and installation of broadband network.

Nearly every resident in the town of Becket, which is about 1,800 people, now has access to high speed internet. Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito joined local officials at town hall to celebrate broadband internet coming to the Berkshires.

It’s part of the Last Mile program created in 2015 to connect as many residents as possible to internet. According to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, the Last Mile program was founded to support and co-invest in residential broadband access projects in 53 last mile towns throughout western and central Massachusetts. The term “Last Mile” refers to town and cities that are the final leg of the telecommunications network or the end of the wired connection lines.

“If ever there was a point in time when it was made clear to everyone, that this is like electricity, running water and plumbing, it was the last 16 months. You just can’t imagine it anymore,” said Governor Baker.

A local business owner told 22News, “I’m spending one third less on three routers than I used to pay. My tenants can go and game online, watch internet tv, my customers can download large documents while they are on their lunch break.”

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said there are still 44 communities in Massachusetts that still doesn’t have full access to high speed internet.

The new network in Becket covers more than 100 miles of town roads.

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