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.
The town is currently formulating the optimal build sequence, which will be based on several factors, including subscriber demand as shown by the 2020 survey results and technical requirements of the network. We anticipate beginning network construction in the fall of 2020.
As the network is completed in each FSA (Fiber Service Area), "drops" (individual home connections) will start in that FSA while network construction of other FSAs continues. The first homes are expected to come online as early as late 2020, while drop installation will continue across town through 2022.
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.
Anyone planning on new construction in town should let us know of your location and an approximate time line. Please contact the Becket MLP manager soon at email@example.com or 413-623-8934, ext. 100, to discuss the possibility of bringing our fiber network to your location.
You might consider having Cat 6 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.