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Cummington Municipal Light Plant

FAQ General

Is there an address or email address that I can contact the MLP Board ?

Please send all correspondence to: Attn. MLP Manager, Cummington Municipal Light Plant, 33 Main Street, Cummington, MA 01026, or email to: mlpmanager@cummington-ma.gov.

Who will own the Cummington fiber network?

This is not a regional ownership. The town owns this infrastructure. Cummington is building it, funding it and we will own it.

When will we have service?

Hopefully by Fall 2019

How much will it cost me?

Final costs are not firm yet since we have not selected an Internet Service provider (ISP) but the Cummington MLP is committed to providing true Gigabit performance at the most affordable cost possible. It is anticipated that most customers will be able to receive Internet and phone service for a similar cost to what they are presently spending for their existing Verizon landline phone and DSL and currently available Internet service such as Wild Blue, DISH or DirectTV satellite.

Can I decide later that I want service?

Yes, but there will be cost savings to pre-subscribe.

What happens to the $49 I gave Wired West?

WiredWest will refund the deposit if requested or they will apply the deposit to the first month’s service if they are the internet service provider.

Will broadband increase my property values?

According to several area realtors, the lack of broadband service is a major deterrent for people wishing to buy houses in Cummington. Estimates are that broadband should increase property values by around 5%.

What about television?

With 1 GB service, programs can be easily “streamed” through your internet connection directly to your television.

Who sets the rates?

Unlike a commercial ISP, the Cummington MLP sets the rates.

What speeds will I get and what does that mean for me?

It is expected that you will get up to 1 gigabit service symmetrical (upload and download). Verizon DSL only provides 3 or 5 megabit service depending on your closeness to the CO in town the CO at the cemetary in West Cummington or the one on Route #112.

Will everyone be able to get service?

Our intention is to make service available to 100% of the homes.

Will Cummington Broadband bring service right to my house? What if I have a long driveway?

This is still to be determined and will depend on costs. Homeowners with non-standard installs may be asked to cover a portion of the cost from the street to the house.

Who will handle repair and service to the network?

The ISP will handle all service and repair.

Will the town's MLP be connected up to the state's fiber optic network? Is this something that is scheduled?

The connection to the fiber backbone is part of the Cummington fiber-to-the home project. The physical connection is part of the installation of the fiber that will run on the existing poles. The service connection will follow thereafter by the Internet Service Provider. That cannot be scheduled until the MLP has completed a contract with a service provider, and we know when the fiber installation is likely to be completed. As each of these milestones is achieved, we will keep the community informed. We hope to have the service in place by Summer, 2019.

Will broadband give me cell phone reception at my home?

Regular cell service is not provided via the network; that’s an entirely different technology. However, some cell phones allow calls to be made via an Internet connection, and it is possible to purchase devices for personal use that allow cellular connections to be made via Internet connections. However, that is not part of the service that will be provided via the project.

What is the policy toward Net Neutrality for the choice of Network Operator and Internet Service Provider for Cummington?

The Cummington Municipal Lighting Plant (MLP) generally supports the goals of Net Neutrality. The MLP intends to provide Gigabit Internet service to Town residents without bias regarding content or “speed lanes.” The exact details of how the Internet Service Provider (ISP) contract will read are still being developed. None of the ISPs being considered are content providers, so “net neutrality” is not expected to be an issue. One should note, however, that any rules or legislation addressing “net neutrality” are ultimately Federal issues, which must be complied with.

What is the relationship between the Town of Cummington, Westfield Gas + Electric, and WiredWest during the construction, operations, and maintenance phases of this project.

The Town will build, own and operate the network.

We are currently working with Westfield Gas + Electric (WG+E) — a 100-year-old municipal light plant with substantial experience building, operating, and providing Internet services to Westfield residents — WG+E oversees and hires contractors for pole survey, design, and engineering, in addition to providing procurement and construction project management support. WG+E works on a fee basis for these preconstruction and construction phase services. The plan is for the make ready work to covered by the state grant; the state has made money available for cost over runs, and we have been informed that Cummington would qualify.

Once the network is built, Cummington MLP will hire a firm (or firms) to administer, operate, and maintain the network, and to provide Internet, phone, and other services to customers.

Wired West will have no role in the construction phase of the Cummington build of our fiber network. Currently WiredWest is working on a plan to aggregate all of the customers located in its members — to be able to receive service from one Internet Service Provider (ISP). WiredWest has identified WG+E as its chosen ISP for future.