Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced $13 million in grants through the Community Compact Cabinet Municipal Fiber grant program. These grants will benefit 86 municipalities and school districts across the Commonwealth, who will use the funds for the construction or completion of their municipal fiber networks to enable more efficient management of IT infrastructure and create opportunities to gain economies of scale by aggregating internet bandwidth purchases and associated security infrastructure.

“The delivery of government services, from public safety response to data security, is increasingly reliant upon strong and cohesive internet infrastructure,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This new Community Compact Cabinet program is the latest example of our Administration’s commitment to partnering with cities and towns to better serve residents, and we are proud to support their efforts to strengthen their municipal networks.”

“Given the rapidly changing landscape of information technology and the infrastructure required to support it, these inaugural municipal fiber grants will make a significant impact on local communities and governments in better serving their residents,” said Lt. Governor Polito, Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet. “As the Community Compact Cabinet Chair, I look forward to our continued partnership with all 351 of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, and I want to congratulate the award winners and thank all those involved for their continued commitment to their communities.”

The Municipal Fiber grant program was established by the Baker-Polito Administration in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Capital Investment Plan. In addition to the $3 million allocated to the program in the capital plan, the administration dedicated $10 million from surplus FY22 capital reserves to help meet the significant demand for the new competitive grants. Grant recipients are required to contribute a 5 percent local match.

“The grants announced today will help municipalities undertake IT infrastructure initiatives that will enable improvements in the functioning of local government and bring cost-savings in the long-term,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan. “We are pleased to be able to distribute funding that will help more than 80 cities, towns, and school districts with these important upgrades that may be otherwise unaffordable.”

“Through the Community Compact IT grants, we have seen the value that these types of competitive programs can add to local government,” said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Curt Wood. “I fully expect that this new Community Compact Municipal Fiber grant program will yield similar results with municipalities taking an enterprise approach to network monitoring and cybersecurity.”

Taunton, where today’s announcement was held, will receive $190,000 to extend the city’s existing fiber network, which will increase the security and resiliency of the Taunton water distribution network to both cyber and environmental threats. Other awards include:

  • $459,672 to complete a set of 3 crucial connections between Rockport, Gloucester, and Essex, which would allow for regionalization of shared services, backup of public safety functions, and cost reductions in numerous redundancies that currently exist across the region
  • $300,000 to complete the last segments of a high-speed fiber network that would connect the Essex County towns of Danvers, Essex, Hamilton, Wenham, Middleton, Topsfield, Manchester-By-The-Sea, and that would connect them to the North Shore Regional 911 Center in Middleton;
  • $295,925 for Amherst to extend its existing municipal fiber network to provide fast, reliable, and secure network connectivity for the towns of Amherst’s and Pelham’s municipal facilities and other assets;
  • $250,000 for Acushnet to establish a fiber optic network throughout the town, which will drastically improve all aspects of operational service, internally and externally to the public
  • $205,089 for Pittsfield to complete the buildout of its municipal operations network by installing fiber optics cabling at various municipal and school facilities;
  • $200,000 for Sutton to complete its fiber network resulting in crucial connectivity between several dispersed municipal facilities as well as public safety radio sites; $231,969 for Mashpee to expand its fiber network so that multiple municipal facilities are added.

For a full list of awardees and projects, click here.

About the Community Compact Cabinet

Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet is chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and is composed of the Secretaries of Housing and Economic Development, Education, Transportation, Energy and Environmental Affairs, and Technology Services and Security, along with the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services and the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services. The Community Compact Cabinet elevates the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns and allows the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities. The Cabinet champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities. The creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations, and accountability for both partners.