Public WiFi & Municipal Broadband

What is Happening with Public WiFi and Municipal Broadband?

 

The Select Board Strategic Plan Section Efficient Town Operations includes Goal 2: Invest in Technology. An update was provided to the Select Board on October 13 and the NP&EDC on November 8, 2021.

  • Add Public WiFi within 1 mile of Pacific National Bank
    1. What is planned for FY2023
      • Activate a WiFi hotspot in the Horse Fountain Smart Streetlamp on Main Street
      • Integrate future expansion into a planned Town wireless network upgrade
  • Add Public WiFi at Surfside and Jetties Beaches
    1. What is planned for FY2023
      • Activite a WiFi hotspot at, or near, the concession buildings at Surfside and Jetties beaches
  • Add Public WiFi across the island except Great Point and Coatue
    1. Further guidance has been requested from the Select Board
  • Expand and improve cell phone service across the island
    1. Cellular providers are adding antennas to the existing distributed antenna system (DAS) infrastructure.
  • What is Municipal Broadband?
    1. Municipal broadband is a publicly managed utility that provides Internet service to ratepayers including residents and local businesses.
    2. Municipal broadband requires the formation of a Municipal Light Plan (MLP) per Massachusetts General Law Chapter 164 Sections 36 and 47e (https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXII/Chapter164).
      • There is no cost to form a MLP and initial steps include:
        • Positive votes at two consecutive Town Meetings;
        • Select Board vote to create a commission to oversee the MLP;
      • The MLP commission develops the plan and determines funding sources to build the broadband network. Funding sources can be via property taxes, bonded or a combination of both.