Becket Broadband offers two primary services over our town-owned fiber-optic network:
Becket has built a 100% town-owned fiber-optic network. “Becket Broadband” is the name for ths network.
WiredWest is a consortium of western-Massachusetts hilltowns that have built fiber-optic networks and 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 operate the town network, to provide customer support 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 is now equipped to take advantage of this cutting-edge technology for high-speed Internet access, which will support our community well into the future.
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 further notice the town is offering a subsidy of up to $750, which will cover most or even all of the drop cost for many subscribers. For details on the subsidy, including eligibility criteria and more, please see the Installation page of this FAQ by clicking here and then scrolling down a bit to How can I take advantage of the town subsidy?
Anyone with premises under 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 email@example.com or 413-623-8934, ext. 100, to discuss how to prepare your property for connecting to our fiber network.
You'll want to review the town's new-connection policy with respect to new-home construction, located in the Policies section. There are a lot of different scenarios, and each one requires attention to a different set of details.
There are two types of connections: aerial and underground (or a combination of both). You can review and download a copy of our Underground Installation Guidelines.
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. Even if they did, it would likely not be a general improvement over the existing 4G infrastructure.