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Boston Enters Partnership to Ensure New Developments are Broadband-Ready

The city signed a memorandum of understanding with WiredScore in order to certify which new developments are equipped with high-speed Internet access for businesses and residents.

Boston continues to make good on Mayor Marty Walsh’s commitment to providing broadband Internet access to residents.

On May 30, the city’s Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with WiredScore that will recognize broadband accessibility in commercial and residential buildings.

The MOU designates that when businesses apply for new project and planned development permits, they must answer the Broadband Ready Building Questionnaire — which will help potential residents, renters or buyers recognize how broadband-ready the building is.

WiredScore's Wired Certification — an international rating system for commercial real estate — will allow businesses looking for office space to easily find best-in-class connected buildings. It also empowers landlords to promote their buildings' Internet connectivity and infrastructure to tenants.

"In order for Boston to be an innovative and equitable city for all, we must ensure that all of our residents and businesses have access to reliable, fast, and, affordable broadband service," said Mayor Walsh in a press release. "I am proud of our nation-leading work with WiredScore, which will lead to further success in creating a city committed to advancing broadband and digital equity goals."

The questionnaire will be built in a collaborative process between DoIT, BPDA and WiredScore, and will enable the BPDA and the city to:

  • collect telecommunications infrastructure information that can be used to influence future building codes and development policy;
  • analyze data in order to understand how real-estate developers are thinking of broadband in the development process and how public agencies can help support them in integrating best practices;
  • ensure that any new buildings meet current and future connectivity needs of residents and businesses;
  • advance the city’s goal of residents and businesses having the choice of two or more high-speed Internet providers;
  • make buildings ready to be responsive to new and innovative technology; and
  • minimize disruption to the public right of way.
The city’s Broadband and Digital Equity office has been guiding policy to ensure improved access to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet for households and businesses. Enabling a more competitive broadband market is a key driver for the city’s ability to make good on that promise.

Ryan McCauley was a staff writer for Government Technology magazine from October 2016 through July 2017, and previously served as the publication's editorial assistant.