In 2006, Southeastern Massachusetts had communications problems. Inadequate bandwidth, limited broadband coverage and poor cell phone service threatened to hold us back as the rest of the nation moved ahead. But that year an extraordinary public meeting of over a hundred local business, government, and community leaders tackled those problems head-on.
Three years after that first meeting, OpenCape was awarded grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, private construction/operating partners, and Barnstable County totaling $40 million.
Those funds resulted in the design and construction of a 350 mile network of fiber optic network operating with the latest technologies and highest speeds available. Additionally, the regional collocation data center provides a location for municipal and commercial entities to host equipment or secure cloud services in a secure, reliable location on the Cape. The OpenCape Network went live in January of 2013. It’s up. It works. It’s really fast, and we’re excited!
So today, instead of the duopoly of for-profit corporations that previously was the only game around for broadband in our region, OpenCape’s new middle-mile backbone is in place. It breaks the good old duopoly. It promotes competition. And it drives down costs.
The OpenCape network is an open access network, meaning other service providers can utilize the network to launch other services in the area, including residential or voice services. The capacity of the network and data center is a unique opportunity for other service providers to offer additional services to local governments, business, and residents of Southeastern Massachusetts. These services will enable our local governments, businesses, and schools to compete and be fast. Wicked fast.