Gov. Baker signs bill to fund rural broadband internet projects

There are projects underway in more than 40 rural towns

BOSTON (WWLP) – Using high speed internet is something many of us take for granted, but some western Massachusetts communities still have no access.

Governor Charlie Baker approved $45 million in capital funding for infrastructure projects. The legislation includes in a $244 million capital improvement bond bill signed by Baker on Tuesday.

State lawmakers attend summit on high-speed internet access

These projects will help quicken efforts to close the broadband gap for underserved communities, many of which are in western Massachusetts.

Unserved and partially-served communities, also known as “Last Mile” towns, include Ashfield, Goshen, Colrain, as well as more than a dozen communities in the Berkshires.

State lawmakers attend summit on high-speed internet access

Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash said in a statement: “High-speed, broadband internet is a necessity in today’s internet-connected world, and we will continue to work with municipalities to pursue collaborative solutions that best fit the unique needs of our unserved communities.”

There are currently projects underway in more than 40 “Last Mile” towns.

Broadband internet projects underway in several Franklin County towns