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City Councilors from several cities hold virtual forum on municipal internet (WWLP)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local city councilors are hosting a virtual forum on municipal internet on April 26 at 6:00 p.m.

Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman, Holyoke City Councilor Rebecca Lisi, West Springfield Councilor Sean Powers, Agawam Councilor Rosemary Sandlin, Northampton City Councilors Bill Dwight and Gina-Louise Sciarra will be present during the event. The six-city councilors from western Massachusetts are teaming up to discuss the merits and logistics of creating municipal fiber internet networks in their respective communities.

The forum will feature a panel of industry experts including Sean Fitzgerald of Fibersonic, Timothy Paul of OmniPoint Technologies, Caitrin Ferriter of Westfield Gas and Electric, and Thomas Flaherty of Westfield Gas.

“The internet has become an essential utility for families and businesses, and people are tired of being nickel and dimed when it comes to internet access. The time is now to make sure that Springfield is not left behind as new technology becomes available. A municipal fiber network would put the public in the driver seat when it comes to ensuring affordable and capable internet access,” said Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman.

The six councilors previously participated in a unique, inter-municipal collaboration opposing the implementation of internet data caps by Comcast-Xfinity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As infrastructure becomes a funding priority at the federal level it seems imperative that we educate our citizens on the value of fiber internet and the opportunities and challenges municipalities face in rolling out the service,” said Holyoke City Councilor Rebecca Lisi.

The forum will be streamed on Youtube.

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