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Becket Broadband offers two primary services over our town-owned fiber-optic network:
Becket is building a 100% town-owned fiber-optic network. “Becket Broadband” is the name for the town-owned network.
WiredWest is a consortium of western-Massachusetts hilltowns building fiber-optic networks who have joined together to make operation and maintenance of their town-owned networks easier and more affordable. Becket is a member of WiredWest and has contracted with them to be our Internet Service Provider and oversee operation of our network. Part of WiredWest’s services to Becket will be provided by sub-contractors such as Whip City Fiber.
Whip City Fiber is part of Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E). WiredWest has contracted with Whip City Fiber to initially operate the town network, to provide customer service and billing services, and to fulfill other functions.
Fiber-optics is a communications technology in which digital data is transmitted over hair-thin glass fibers in the form of light, rather than as electrical signals as with copper wire or coaxial cable. One fiber can carry multiple signals at once, and the signal does not degrade over long distances. Unlike coaxial cable, performance is not affected by electromagnetic (RF or Radio Frequency) interference. The fiber-optic network provides high-speed Internet access that runs at the speed of light with a capacity many orders of magnitude greater than older, wire-based technologies.
Each year the use of the Internet for applications and services is increasing. As high-definition video, telemedicine, distance education, telecommuting, and other applications continue to evolve, only fiber technology provides the bandwidth (data rate capacity) necessary to carry the growing load we expect in the foreseeable future. We’re excited that our town will soon be equipped to take advantage of this cutting-edge technology for Internet access, which will support our community well into the future.
Network construction is coming to a close late spring or early summer. As of January 2023, network construction is complete except for about half of FSA 10 (primarily Becket Woods, where the frozen ground of winter created some delays), and individual home connections (or "drops") are under way in all FSAs. To find your FSA and check out our overall progress and time line, go to our FSA Map page.
Once network construction is complete there, individual home connections will be available in Becket Woods.
For details on the available installation cost subsidy, including eligibility criteria and more, please see the Installation page of this FAQ: click here and then scroll down a bit to How can I take advantage of one of the town subsidies?
This is accomplished by running a length of fiber-optic cable from the street to your home, much like a telephone line is run. This connection is sometimes referred to as a “drop.” By default the drop follows the path of the existing electric service to your home. About two-thirds of the homes in Becket have over-head electric drops; the other third have underground or partially-underground drops.
The cost of the drop varies from home to home and can be expensive. Until July 1, 2023, the town is offering a subsidy of up to $2000, which will completely cover the drop cost for the vast majority of Becket subscribers. Starting on that date the subsidy will be reduced to a maximum of $750 for most customers. For details on the subsidy, including eligibility criteria and more, please see the Installation page of this FAQ: click here and then scroll down a bit to How can I take advantage of one of the town subsidies?
Anyone with new construction or planning on new construction in town should let us know of your location and an approximate timeline. Please contact the Becket MLP manager as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-623-8934, ext. 100, to discuss how to prepare your property for connecting to our fiber network.
Note that the eligibility end date for the town's (up to) $2000 subsidy is approaching for the majority of applicants. Most will need to meet certain requirements before July 1, 2023, in order to take advantage of it. Beginning on that date this amount will be reduced to $750 for most customers. For details on the subsidy, including eligibility criteria and more, please see the Installation page of this FAQ: click here and then scroll down a bit to How can I take advantage of one of the town subsidies?
There are two types of connections: aerial and underground. You can review and download a copy of our Underground Installation Guidelines here.
You might consider having Cat 6/6e/6a Ethernet cable installed throughout your home to the locations for the ONT, router, Telo (see Standard Installation details in the Installation section), TVs, computers, and any other wired-Ethernet-capable, devices. It’s a lot easier and less expensive to do this before the walls are closed up for interior finish work.
5G works great with high-density populations in a limited-obstruction environment. Becket is neither. The hilltowns, generally, are not well-suited for this technology, and so we don’t anticipate wireless companies making the infrastructure investment in our area any time soon, if ever.
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