“Northampton has experienced positive economic growth in both residential and commercial development over the past few years. As we work to attract new businesses and jobs in a technology-driven economy, the City considers it very important to invest in its valuable municipal fiber infrastructure. Broadband-enabled Internet service has become an essential utility for businesses and residents alike. The City would like to expand consumer options by pursuing the development of municipal gigabit-level services.”
“Joining Next Century Cities (NCC) connects the City of Northampton to a network of communities that are committed to continuous innovation and facing similar challenges. NCC is a great resource in our exploration of gigabit-level Internet service development as an essential infrastructure to strengthen our local economy and expand information and technology access for residents.”
The City of Northampton is currently exploring the feasibility of expanding its municipal fiber ring to provide broadband-enabled services to private enterprise customers and residents. The goal of this project is to leverage the significant investment we have made in our existing municipal fiber ring by developing a gigabit-level network around the existing infrastructure. First, we intend to conduct a Broadband Assessment of existing broadband services in the city and a Feasibility Study to address the possibility of Northampton providing broadband and broadband-enabled services to private enterprise customers in proximity to its existing municipal fiber network. In addition to the municipal fiber network, we will consider any other network elements or capabilities that the city may own or lease that may complement service solutions provided over the fiber network.
Massachusetts General Law allows municipalities to form a Municipal Light Plant (MLP), a citizen owned, not-for-profit Utility Enterprise. Municipal Light Plants are authorized and certified to provide telecommunications, electricity and energy services. Consideration of the formation of a MLP for Northampton is part of our current assessment. Such a development would allow the City of Northampton to pursue various public-private partnerships in order to improve health care and education services, and connect residents to new opportunities.