FALMOUTH – A new contract between FalmouthNet, Inc. and Tilson will generate an engineering design for town-wide fiber optic internet access for all Falmouth residents and businesses.
The design work will begin immediately and will be funded by the current Massachusetts state budget, according to the organizations, with a final report due on January 21 of next year.
They said that the plan will contain enough detail to apply for state and federal funding, as well as approach private lenders and investors.
The design will also be used to inform Falmouth Town Meeting voters, who could help the project through municipal bonds and become involved in other negotiations.
Included in the plan will be a fiber routing plan, assessment of available technology, an equipment list, field work and a detailed construction cost estimate, according to FalmouthNet.
Plymouth/Barnstable State Senator Susan Moran is a supporter of the engineering design, with fellow Democrat Barnstable/Dukes/Nantucket State Representative Dylan Fernandes and Third Barnstable Republican State Representative David Viera.
“Broadband internet access is a crucial resource for expanding economic opportunities and improving quality of life in our district,” said Moran in a statement.
“Supporting the success of FalmouthNet so that we can bring high-quality fiber optic internet access to Falmouth has been one of my top priorities, and I am proud to have been able to secure $150,000 in direct funding for the project. The beginning of work on FalmouthNet’s engineering design marks a major milestone for both the project and our community. It is a promising start to a major investment in the future of Falmouth.”
Vieira said that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for high speed networks as schools and offices shifted online.
According to Fernandes, high speed internet should be a right, and treated like a public utility.