New Broadband Strategy for Monterey
MONTEREY — After many twists and turns, the town has a new broadband strategy.
The Berkshire Eagle reports in its ongoing effort to get the whole town wired for high-speed internet, Monterey officials will hire an accounting firm to take a look at a local internet company's books.
Doing so may put to rest, once and for all, worries that a local company can't handle the job of operating a fiber-optic network here.
The town is about to hire Bay State Municipal Accounting for help in its attempt to convince the state to allow Monterey-based Fiber Connect LLC to complete its system build-out here.
Fiber Connect has already wired about 40 percent of the town, and is continuing until it reaches about 70 percent by the end of the year, according to town Broadband Committee Chairman Cliff Weiss. The company, which is using its own money to wire Monterey, and also 70 percent of Egremont's premises, was not approved as a suitable provider by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, which oversees the state's last-mile funds to help rural towns without access get faster internet speeds.
The MBI said the new, Monterey-based company did not have a long enough financial track record to receive $1.2 million allocated by the state to Monterey, money that will pay to wire the remaining 30 percent of premises in town.
Weiss said hiring the accounting firm is a way to take the "emotion" out of what have been difficult negotiations at times between the town and MBI. This way, Weiss said, MBI will have an objective opinion of Fiber Connect's financials by an independent third party.