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Worthington, Mass., Now Offers Broadband to Almost All Homes

Worthington, Mass., is the latest town that has benefited from the Last Mile Program, which is working to bring high-speed Internet to 53 towns. Worthington's network is the result of a public-private partnership.

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(TNS) — Virtually every home in town now has access to broadband Internet through a $3.7 million project funded by the state, town and Comcast.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and other officials visited the hilltown Thursday to mark the latest milestone in the years-long effort to complete the “last mile” of Internet connections in underserved rural areas of the state.

“By expanding broadband access, we can level the playing field and allow residents, students and business owners to take advantage of new opportunities in the way people work, learn and conduct business,” said Polito. “Through projects like this, we continue to make progress in closing the digital divide and ensuring that access to broadband is available across the state.”

Worthington’s broadband effort was funded by a $2.2 million grant from the Mass Broadband Institute and $750,904 from the town, with a capital investment of nearly $800,000 from cable and Internet provider Comcast.

“The completion of Worthington’s network is certainly a major milestone and we are eagerly looking forward to the end of next year, when construction in all but one remaining ‘Last Mile’ town will be complete,” said Ashley Stolba, state undersecretary of community development.

The Mass Broadband Institute received funding for the Last Mile Program through a $50 million capital bond authorized in 2014 by former Gov. Deval Patrick. Current Gov. Charlie Baker approved an additional $45 million bond for broadband infrastructure in 2017.

Baker’s administration said it has worked to bring Internet to 28,000 homes and businesses in 53 towns — 44 unserved and nine partially served — in central and Western Massachusetts. Of the 44 fully unserved towns, 25 now have fully operational networks, 16 have partially operational networks and four are in various stages of design or construction.

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