About Us

The purpose of the Shutesbury MLP Board and Broadband Committee is to bring high speed fiber internet to every home in Shutesbury in the most cost effective, equitable, minimum risk, high quality and expedient manner possible.

We are currently working on a plan to connect all homes in town to the internet via fiber optic cable. Fiber optic cable will provide internet access to all subscribers at speeds up to 100 times faster than average DSL, cable or satellite connections.

The five townspeople on our MLP Board work in cooperation with the four member Broadband Committee. We are a highly motivated team with prior work experience as project managers, networking specialists, database administrators, leaders, business people and information technology infrastructure designers.

You can reach the team by email at: broadband -at- shutesbury.org

 

Broadband At a Glance

Our success depends on the core values of our municipal network:

Equitable: Every home, business and buildable lot in the town must be served by the network.

Financially Responsible: The funding model for the project must be realistic for our town with a prudent plan for repayment of any incurred municipal debt within a reasonable timeframe.

Affordable: The cost of monthly subscriber fees must be competitive and affordable for townspeople.

High Quality: The network must be reliable and secure, with maintenance plans to deliver ongoing quality service.

Scalable: The network must serve residents for years to come and be easily modified, updated or expanded to provide continued access as needs increase.

The project build will be paid for using a combination of taxpayer funds and state grants and will be a public utility serving the residents of Shutesbury. The network will be sustained and maintained by monthly subscriber fees.

Our goal is to have an operational network by 2019.

Why Broadband?

Here is nice video summary of why it was necessary to build a municipal network in Shutesbury: VIDEO

At the moment a fraction of Shutesbury residents have access to the internet via Verizon DSL, which is slow when compared with the options in nearby towns. The current DSL service is built with deteriorating electronics on old copper telephone wires. It is an outdated and limited technology that can't keep up with today's internet. Some households pay high rates for satellite-based internet, which suffers from high latency, outages during bad weather, and limits on data usage. In addition, very few parts of our town have cellular phone service. In short, we are an underserved community.

Over the last 20 years, various companies have hinted at or even promised to deliver broadband internet to Shutesbury. None of them has done so and there is little reason for them to invest in our community. Shutesbury has relatively few households and low population density so there's not an adequate return to warrant investment by commercial internet companies.

Shutesbury will ONLY get high-speed broadband through a community-based initiative.

Why This Matters

Reliable, affordable internet access is important for all residents because it brings numerous benefits to our community. Broadband internet is no longer a luxury, but rather an essential utility in the 21st century.

Financial

-To maintain the value of our homes. Many home buyers and renters will not consider a property that does not have broadband available.

-Makes work-from-home jobs and small home-based business attractive and possible.

-Can reduce household costs by bundling phone and internet service together.

Education

- Shutesbury is the ONLY town in the Amherst Regional School District whose students do not have widespread internet access. This puts them at an educational disadvantage compared to schoolchildren from the other three towns in the district.

-Students can complete research and access homework assignments online.

-Parents are increasingly expected to access children’s school information online.

-Adults and children can use the unlimited resources available for online learning opportunities.

-Access to online courses and degree programs for continuing adult education.

Public Safety

-Residents can be notified about emergencies and access information critical to their safety and well-being.

-First responders can send and receive critical voice, video and data information.

-Town health and safety volunteers can receive online continuing education and certification.

Healthcare

-Access health information online

-Access to specialists regardless of geography

-Provide remote care and monitoring for patients in their own homes

-Allows elderly to stay in their own homes longer while receiving quality care

-Direct communication with your own health care providers

-Connect parents to online resources and support groups

Quality of Life

-Makes Shutesbury an attractive hometown choice

-Stay informed about town and community events

-Stream movies, television and other online media

-Pursue hobbies

-Stay connected with friends and family around the country and the world