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Greenfield Mayor Addresses Harvard Symposium

GREENFIELD — Mayor William Martin presented the city’s Municipal Broadband Plan on July 8 during a Massachusetts Municipal Light Plant symposium hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School.

More than 80 municipal and state officials representing over a dozen cities and towns in the Commonwealth were in attendance. Fernando Fleury, IT manager for the city of Greenfield, and Daniel Kelley, the mayor’s technology advisor and principal of Kelley Management Group Inc., also joined the mayor on the panel.

Martin’s presentation centered on the city’s quest for further independence as demonstrated in Greenfield’s electrical aggregation program, among other initiatives. The mayor also unveiled the unique features of the city’s Municipal Broadband Plan, which includes 1Gbps fiber and wireless broadband for all residents, businesses, and government agencies that call Greenfield home.

Many of the symposium attendees expressed interest in the mayor’s Municipal Broadband Plan because of its approach to supporting the requirements of fiber-reliant, high-demand businesses along with the mobile broadband requirements of today’s society. Most attendees represented communities pursuing municipal broadband or preparing plans to do so.

A disjointed process, unclear state policies, and regulatory governance questions dominated the Q & A portions that immediately followed each community presentation. Community representatives were asked to contribute to the takeaways from the day-long dialogue to the Berkman Center’s final report.

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