WiredWest — It’s Final . . .

IN A PROCESS THAT TOOK 2+ MONTHS TO BE COMPLETED, the Town of Hawley has withdrawn its membership from the WiredWest Cooperative (WW).  The letter from the Hawley Selectboard to WW which takes that action that can be downloaded HERE.

Ostensibly, the withdrawal came in response to WW’s request. In recent months, that organization has had trouble meeting quorum requirements because a number of Western Massachusetts towns have developed direct relationships with MBI and thus have seemed less interested than previously in attending WW functions. 

[What do you do to get your $49.00 deposit back?
HERE to download the attached document
then go to the second page.]

But the truth of Hawley’s disaffiliation with WW runs a bit deeper than that.  For most of the past year, Hawley has been actively pursuing a wireless option, as the fiber-optic option which has been supported by WW (and for a good while, was MBI’s only option), was simply too expensive — by a factor of 250% — and Hawley’s only viable choice was to pursue wireless and to develop its own direct relationship with MBI.  As part of this activity, the Hawley Communications Committee (HCC) has actively supported and sponsored the development of the Hybrid-Wireless Working Group (HWWG), an amalgam of 5 – 10 towns that are similarly interested in wireless, and who get together monthly to share information, strategies and support.  The participants have been lucky in that the group has attracted the participation and support of some of the “old-timers” of the wireless movement, including Middlefield, Royalston and Princeton, who serve as mentors. In addition, there is also a a moveable feast of Broadband committee members from other towns who participate in HWWG meetings to learn about the possibilities of wireless as part of their own deliberations.

HWWG has been effective enough to have garnered the attention and support of MBI, and a number of MBI officials have participated in some of its meetings.  Significant events that have occurred at HWWG meetings include the announcement that MBI will now consider wireless, provided it meets certain standards, as a viable, fundable alternative to fiber-optic.  HWWG’s next meeting is currently being scheduled — in Hawley — for late September or early October.  

Meanwhile, though, there is still the question of what the 50+ Hawleyites who sent $49.00 deposits in to WW in late 2014 or early 2015 can do to recover their investment, plus interest. 

The answer is simple.  Send WW a letter (NOT an email) requesting it.  You can find all the details you need HERE (go to the second page).  Additional information should be forthcoming, either from WiredWest or from the Hawley Communications Committee, within the next 15 days.

For more background information, click HERE.

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