The city of Westfield, Massachusetts, realizes more than $88 million a year in employment benefits from the deployment of fiber optic broadband, according to the Fiber Broadband Association.
Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E), owner and operator of Westfield’s fiber network, began investing in fiber to set up a SCADA network to automate utilities.
He launched Whip City Fiber in 2015. He received approval from Westfield City Council in 2017 to seek a $15 million bond to fund the deployment of fiber infrastructure to cover 70% of the city. The service provider has become network project manager for 20 municipalities in the Western Berkshire Mountains region.
“Today, our fiber optic network has generated more than 4,600 work-from-home jobs for a city of 41,000 people, provided high-speed broadband to the public school system, increased home values and brought new businesses and economic development in the city,” said John Leary, Chief Information Officer at Westfield Gas & Electric.
Whip City Fiber has over 152 miles of network and offers broadband speeds of 1 Gbps. Several local businesses lease dark fiber to Whip City for their operations, including medical facilities, a regional bank, and a local manufacturing company with multiple sites in the area, the report said.
The broadband service provider generates revenue of $2-4 million per year and invests in network expansion to provide broadband to more residents. Whip City Fiber plans to bring high-speed internet service to all of Westfield and expand speeds to 10 Gbps by 2025.
“WG&E and Whip City Fiber have created jobs and value in the region through the deployment of its fiber infrastructure. They have acted as a leader on how to deploy high-speed broadband, illustrating how communities and utilities benefit from fiber,” said Deborah Kish, Vice President, Workforce Research and Development. work at the Fiber Broadband Association.