BUZZARDS BAY – June 14, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined community leaders and public officials at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to mark the beginning of operations on the new OpenCape fiber-optic broadband network. The Cape and Islands will now have a 300-mile open-access fiber-optic network connecting over 70 important community facilities, including community colleges, high schools, libraries, public safety facilities and other municipal buildings.
“Broadband is essential for Massachusetts to remain competitive,” said Governor Patrick. “OpenCape is a remarkable milestone that will connect thousands of residents and small businesses to education and economic opportunities all over the world.”
The Patrick Administration has been a longtime champion for broadband expansion to enable residents and businesses to better compete in the 21st century global economy. In April 2013, Governor Patrick lit the first section of MassBroadband 123, a new 1,200-mile fiber-optic network that will bring high-speed Internet access to underserved areas of western and central Massachusetts. Broadband expansion is a critical component of Governor Patrick’s strategy to invest in education, innovation and infrastructure in
order to drive growth and economic opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth.
“This broadband infrastructure is a tremendous asset for our communities, and it will connect our schools, libraries, hospitals and businesses,” said Senate President Therese Murray. “With the completion of this project, the Cape will finally have open access to a reliable communications network like the rest of the state.”
“It remains essential to invest in tools we can not only use today, but build upon for tomorrow,” said Senator Dan Wolf. “The OpenCape network does just this, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have in our Cape community, notably our schools and libraries.”
“I am very excited about the potential that will now be unlocked by today’s opening of the new OpenCape fiber-optic broadband network,” said U.S. Representative Bill Keating. “High-speed broadband is an integral component of modern society and this project will bring us one step closer to leveling the ‘digital divide’ that still exists in Massachusetts. This is an essential tool for the youth, seniors, small businesses, research institutions and local governments of our community.”
“The OpenCape network is the most significant economic tool to come along to in over a century,” said Representative Sarah Peake. We can only begin to imagine the positive economic impact that a reliable and robust broadband network will have for our schools, businesses and healthcare institutions. This will help create jobs and make Cape Cod a true tech sandbar!”
“This is an excellent example of how a public/private partnership can provide critical infrastructure, drive job growth and revitalize a community, Cape Cod in this case,” said Representative Randy Hunt. “Potential uses for CapeNet are limited only by the imaginations of our most creative people.”
“With the improved broadband network, I look forward to the expansion of the business community and the increase of educational opportunities that will grow with it,” said Representative Cleon Turner. Open Cape is a non-profit organization created to bring affordable, broadband access to the Cape and Islands. The network serves the Cape and Islands, and connects to Brockton and Providence, Rhode Island. OpenCape has licensed CapeNet LLC to operate its network and offer services to the community.
In 2010, OpenCape was awarded a National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant for $32 million. Through the Massachusetts Broadband Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Commonwealth provided $5 million in matching funds toward the federal BTOP grant.