Holyoke Gas & Electric’s telecom division provides high-speed Internet access to local businesses and public agencies, bringing in revenue and profits while aiding in local economic development and saving the municipality more than $300,000 a year. At the same time, it has expanded to other lines of business and serves three communities outside Holyoke which need its help. HG&E Telecom’s success in a competitive environment suggests opportunities for other municipal light plants in Massachusetts and other states.
In 2009, the Berkman Center conducted an independent expert review of existing literature and studies about broadband deployment and usage throughout the world, in order to help inform the FCC’s efforts in developing the National Broadband Plan.
Since submitting its Next Generation Connectivity report to the FCC's National Broadband Plan committee, the Berkman Center has continued its research on broadband policy. The team has focused its efforts on competition in the residential broadband market, including looks into the roles municipalities have played; analysis of the NTIA's National Broadband Map data on provider availability, price and speed availability; and exploration of the value broadband brings.