Sertex Partners, Sheffield Massachusetts to Conduct Municipal Broadband Survey

Rural Berkshire Mountains community launches online poll to gauge residents’ support for municipally-owned, town-wide fiber broadband network.

  • Sertex
  • municipal broadband


Sheffield, MA –Officials in the Town of Sheffield, Massachusetts, are working closely with representatives from Sertex Broadband Solutions to create and conduct an online broadband interest survey for residents and business owners. The poll, conducted through the SertexConnect planning platform, will assess current internet service levels, and gauge public support for building a municipally-owned fiber-to-the-home (FTTX) broadband network offering high-speed internet connections to 100 percent of households and businesses in the community. Town residents and business owners can access the survey on the Sertex website or by going to the Resource Center on the Town of Sheffield website and clicking the Broadband Interest Survey button. The survey will be open from March 7 through April 30, 2022.

Frustrated by the control of telecom giants over internet accessibility and bandwidth, Sheffield officials opted to conduct the satisfaction survey understanding that a town-owned FTTX network could provide high-speed, affordable, and reliable internet access for everyone in the community, regardless of geographic location or socioeconomic status. People who take the interactive survey will have the opportunity to test the speed of their premises’ internet connection, answer questions about their household internet use and satisfaction with their current service and share their interest in a town-owned FTTX network.

If survey results reveal sufficient community support, Sheffield can move on to the next step in fiber network evaluation by conducting an FTTX Feasibility Study with Sertex to develop a high-level network design and cost analysis.

Unlike fiber internet services from private companies, municipally-owned networks ensure universal high-speed broadband connections and offer more bandwidth at lower rates. The Sertex public/private partnership model empowers communities with 100 percent ownership control over end-user costs, service levels, and operational concerns. Taxpayer-approved projects are funded through long-term, low-interest municipal bonding. Infrastructure, maintenance, and operating costs are recovered through subscriber fees. With sufficient subscribers, future-proof fiber optic networks are self-sustaining with little to no budget impact.

“Rural communities like Sheffield have been ignored by incumbent private providers for years,” said Michael Solitro, Sertex founder and CEO. “Now is the time for local governments to take control to deliver reliable, affordable, and durable high-speed internet access. Sertex is a here to give towns the information and support they need, through broadband interest surveys and feasibility studies, to get started on the path to a fiber future.”


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