New Bedford, MA

Mayor Jon MitchellCreated by Readiris, Copyright IRIS 2009

On New Bedford: “Now, more than ever, access to technology is essential here in New Bedford, Massachusetts and across the nation.  High-speed internet access is not only an important communication tool but it has become integral to nearly every aspect of our lives from healthcare to education, employment and more.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities is a great opportunity for New Bedford to work collaboratively with other communities across the country to achieve our shared goals of providing our communities with fast, reliable and affordable internet access.”

What New Bedford is working on: Over the past several years the City of New Bedford has been installing a 10 Gigabit fiber network to improve communications between all city facilities.  This has resulted in a much faster, affordable and reliable network and internet connection. The network project is 90% complete.

In March of 2015 the City of New Bedford began transitioning to a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system to dramatically cut the city’s monthly phone costs.

The City used the Police Department’s camera infrastructure to install free WiFi to the Custom House Square and the Wings Court areas of downtown.  New Bedford plans to continue incorporating this infrastructure whenever public safety camera installations are being constructed at parks and open spaces throughout the City. New Bedford relies on its cable provider to provide broadband coverage to the City. The provider also offers reduced price internet packages to low income households and has started a project to blanket residential and commercial areas with continuous Wi-Fi coverage.  Their newest WiFi routers will turn into a public hotspot, and will create a wave of wireless Internet that will emit from every home, business and public waiting area.

All City Libraries, Senior Centers and recreational facilities are equipped with public access computers and free WiFi access points.  The computers all have free internet access along with the latest word processing and spreadsheet applications, and a security system that protects against malicious viruses and malware.  Other City offices that provide free WiFi access points include: City Hall, all Public Safety buildings, the Department of Public Infrastructure, Community Development and the Health Department.