Are other towns doing this?
Other towns are building municipal broadband networks, many right here in Massachusetts.
By doing so they’re taking an active role in shaping their community’s future, while at the same time realizing immediate benefits for all local stakeholders.
In Massachusetts there are ten municipally-owned broadband networks, including Braintree, Norwood, Holyoke, Shrewsbury, and Concord.
These are the cities and towns that had the foresight to establish municipal electric utilities decades ago - all the way back to 1892 for for Braintree!
These municipal electric utilities are called "municipal light plants" (MLP) in Massachusetts, and were granted the authority to provide electricity within their municipal jurisdiction.
Why is this important?
Well, in later decades when cable TV came on the scene, the authority of municipal light plants was extended to telecommunication services, enabling MLP's to offer cable TV.
So when the internet comes around a few years later, it's a natural next step for towns with MLPs to start providing broadband service too. This would seemingly put towns without MLPs - like Milton - at a disadvantage.
Happily this isn't the case though, as the town of Leverett MA showed recently.
Leverett is a town without an electric utility, and they completed their fiber-to-the-home, municipal network in 2015 (here's a detailed description of LeveretNet's operation).
Leverett essentially paved the way for towns without MLPs - like Milton - to create their own municipal broadband networks.
And there are several other towns in Massachusetts without utilities who are pursuing municipal broadband.
Today there are nearly 200 municipalities and counties throughout the country that own their broadband network, ranging in size from pretty small (Ammon, Idaho) to pretty big (Chattanooga, Tennessee).
Community Broadband Networks maintains a comprehensive list of American municipal broadband systems.