The celebrated municipal network in Leverett, Massachusetts, is starting to serve select areas of the community. Customers’ properties on the north side of town are now receiving 1 gigabit Internet service from the town’s partner Crocker Communications. These early subscribers are considered “beta sites.” Telephone service will become available when the network has been fully tested.
According to the press release:
The Town’s initial plan was to turn on all subscriber locations at the same time; but interest from pre-subscribers was so strong that the Town’s Broadband Committee arranged to offer sequential connections as individual homes are spliced into the network distribution cable.
We learned about Leverett in 2012 as they explored the possibility of a municipal network. Lack of Internet access and problems with traditional phone service drove the community to take the initiative. Since then, they have been heralded as a model for self-reliance by the press, featured in case studies, and included in a white paper from the National Economic Council and Council of Economic Advisors.
LeverettNet subscribers pay a monthly $49.95 fee to the local Municipal Light Plant (MLP), the agency that maintains and operates the infrastructure. As more subscribers sign-up, that fee will decrease.
For stand-alone gigabit Internet access, subscribers pay an additional $24.95 per month. Stand-alone telephone service will be $29.95 per month. Those services will be $44.95 per month when bundled together.
A subscriber with bundled services of 1 gigabit symmetrical Internet access and telephone service pays a total of $94.90 per month, which includes the MLP fee.
According to the press release, LeverettNet currently has 600 pre-subscribers, a take rate of 70%. Community leaders expect the network to be completed by August.
For more on Leverett, listen to the Community Broadband Bits podcast episode #113, in which Chris interviewed Peter d’Errico from Leverett’s Select Board and the Broadband Committee.
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