HOLYOKE. A Massachusetts Municipal Light Plant Seizes Internet Access Business Opportunities

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1 HOLYOKE A Massachusetts Municipal Light Plant Seizes Internet Access Business Opportunities David Talbot Waide Warner Carolyn Anderson Kira Hessekiel Daniel Dennis Jones H telecom division provides high-speed Internet access to local businesses and public agencies, bringing in revenue 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 environment suggests opportunities for other municipal light plants in Massachusetts and other states. July 2015 at Harvard University

2 ABSTRACT This report describes the development and recent expansion of KEY FINDINGS 2

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY net access services, HG&E Telecom serves HG&E Telecom faces competition for the - - that the additional competition it provides im

4

5 MUNICIPAL NETWORKS IN AND AROUND HOLYOKE Leverett from HG&E Telecom and has set plans for a $4.7 million citywide using HG&E Telecom as the operations manager. HG&E Telecom monitors the Leverett South Hadley Management of the South Hadley Electric Light Department has proposed service to a downtown mixedtoward a townwide project. the proposed project. GREENFIELD LD HOLYOKE FIE EEN GR LEVERETT HOLYOKE WESTFIELD SOUTH HADLEY CHICOPEE CHICOPEE SPRINGFIELD Holyoke and Chicopee (using Chicopee Electric Light SPRINGFIELD has also forged inter-municipal agreements with Electric Light Department is now piloting one. is also now piloting a high-speed residential

6 The City of Holyoke Holyoke Gas & Electric: A Massachusetts Municipal Light Plant

7 Municipal Electric Utilities: Internet Access Offerings Does not provide Internet access services Provides Internet access to retail customers Light Plant Population Meters* Belmont Norwood Boylston Paxton Braintree Chester Princeton Chicopee Reading** Concord Rowley Danvers Russell Devens Georgetown South Hadley Groton Sterling Groveland Taunton** Hingham Templeton Holden Hudson Hull Littleton** TOTAL Merrimac Middleton 7

8 Building a Community Network initial investments of available cash and predecessors) and coaxial 8 for 100 years. People comfort factor

9 Holyoke Gas & Electric (inset) 13 Then, in 14 also created HG&E Telecom as a separate 9

10 HG&E Telecom A Hometown Advantage in a Competitive Market tomers, and commitment cases of service inter- time and restores service 15 Tech- - - And to the extent HG&E High-speed Internet access Multi-site networking Wide area networking competition has inten HG&E Telecom soon ven- - points of presence (or

11 Electricity Stagnates, But Telecom Grows - $45m HG&E Electricity Revenues $2.5m HG&E Telecom Revenues $206, Net Earnings $262, Net Earnings $40m $35m $2m $30m $25m $1.5m $20m $15m $1m $10m $5m $500k $ Year $ Year Revenues Expenses HG&E has tracked its telecom division separately since The division experienced losses in - 19 period. - tricity or gas ratepayers.

12 Municipal Government Benefits HG&E Telecom Saves City Hall and Itself More Than $300,000 Annually A Fiber Optic and Video Testbed for Boston Marathon Security - 20 HG&E Telecom estimates that the services it HG&E Telecom camera cap- stolen from a the defense theon and the

13 The Technology and Topology of HG&E.net

14 Economic Development An Academic Computing Center Chooses Holyoke The installation

15 HG&E Telecom s Inter-Municipal Agreements 26 Chicopee

16 Leverett The Berkman Center published a case study of LeverettNet by Susan Crawford and Robyn Mohr, entitled Bringing Municipal High-Speed Internet Access to Leverett, Massachusetts, in December The study is available on SSRN (http://ssrn.com/ abstract= ). MassBroadband 123 Network Allows MLPs to Expand

17 Tim Haas

18 Television Not Required: MLPs Look Anew at Fiber to Households cable companies and their television content net access service to on-demand video services

19 South Hadley: A High-Speed Internet Access Proposal home to Electric Selling gigabit-per-second Internet access in South Hadley for $79.95 a month would be a wonderful opportunity for us to diversify revenue Wayne Doerpholz, general manager, S. Hadley Electric Light Department

20 Recent HG&E Telecom Growth HG&E Telecom is able to provide faster This 50 To cover other areas, HG&E 51 HG&E Telecom Tries Providing Wireless Infrastructure 52 53

21 Conclusions & Next Steps local economic development and national

22 22 Endnotes

23 Authors Acknowledgments Funding

24 at Harvard University

Holyoke Gas & Electric s

Holyoke Gas & Electric s HOLYOKE A Massachusetts Municipal Light Plant Seizes Internet Access Business Opportunities David Talbot Waide Warner Carolyn Anderson Kira Hessekiel Daniel Dennis Jones Holyoke Gas & Electric s telecom

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