Public Wifi Networks are in the works for downtown Great Barrington and downtown Pittsfield! This should be a welcome amenity for the downtowns of these two communities.

The town of Great Barrington is working with Fiber Connect to bring seamless, free public high-speed WiFi service to downtown Great Barrington. The announcement came this morning as a media release.

Select Board member Ed Abrahams has been doing the footwork...

We will soon be able to offer free, basic fiber optic access throughout the downtown business district from Castle and Bridge Streets north to the Elm Street area. ~ Ed Abrahams

Abrahams has been working on the project for several years with Fiber Connect, a local company offering high-speed fiber-optic internet.

Fiber Connect handling installation in Great Barrington...

According to the media release, Fiber Connect is handling the installation of routers and cabling for Public GB, the public Wifi network. The town is approaching about a dozen property owners to arrange easement agreements for equipment installation, for which property owners are asked to pay a one-time fee of $2,000.

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One building at a time...

Property owner Richard Stanley has already signed on and a new public router has been installed at his Barrington House building on Main Street. Other than the upfront costs, there are no further fees to the town or to property owners.

Other property owners have expressed interest, and we welcome ‘sponsorship’ participation from any other interested businesses or individuals who want to support this project... We will get this done one building at a time. ~ Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski

According to Pruhenski, Fiber Connect has already built out much of the downtown area’s fiber-optic network for private commercial and residential users; the public network is separate. Pruhenski said the town plans to participate with public routers at Town Hall and Mason Library.

The town will be contacting building owners downtown to gauge interest and to obtain easements for the exterior router, a white box of about 8-1/2” x 11’ in diameter.

Pittsfield's Downtown will be seeing something similar...

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer will ask the new City Council at its first meeting Tuesday to accept an almost $100,000 grant from the state’s Community Compact IT program. The Berkshire Eagle reported today that the city will gain in return: a free publicly accessible Wi-Fi network set to cover downtown Pittsfield, as well as the Morningside and West Side neighborhoods.

 

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