Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announces $13 million in grants through the Community Compact Cabinet Municipal Fiber grant program in Taunton on June 2. (Photo courtesy Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office)

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito yesterday announced $13 million in grants through the Community Compact Cabinet’s Municipal Fiber grant program.

The grants will help 86 municipalities and school districts with the construction or completion of their municipal fiber networks to enable more efficient management of IT infrastructure and aggregate internet bandwidth purchases and associated security infrastructure.

“These inaugural municipal fiber grants will make a significant impact on local communities and governments in better serving their residents,” Polito said at a press event in Taunton.

The administration established the Municipal Fiber grant program in its fiscal 2022 Capital Investment Plan, which allocated $3 million to the program, and added $10 million from surplus fiscal 2022 capital reserves to help meet the demand for the new competitive grants. Grant recipients are required to contribute a 5% local match.

Technology Services and Security Secretary Curt Wood said the grants will help recipients “[take] an enterprise approach to network monitoring and cybersecurity.”

Taunton will receive $190,000 to extend the city’s existing fiber network, which will help protect the Taunton water distribution network against cyber and environmental threats.

Other awards include:
• $459,672 to complete a set of three connections between Rockport, Gloucester and Essex to 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 to connect the towns of Danvers, Essex, Hamilton, Wenham, Middleton, Topsfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and connect them to the North Shore Regional 911 Center in Middleton
• $295,925 for Amherst to extend its existing municipal fiber network to provide connectivity for Amherst’s and Pelham’s municipal facilities and other assets
• $250,000 for Acushnet to establish a fiber optic network throughout the town
• $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 connectivity between several dispersed municipal facilities as well as public safety radio sites
• $231,969 for Mashpee to expand its fiber network to add multiple municipal facilities

See the full list of awardees and projects.

Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet, chaired by Polito, enables the administration to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities and promotes mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities.