Cape Cod Commission to study cell phone and internet deficiencies on Cape Cod and the Islands
With more Cape Codders working and learning from home, critical internet access and equity concerns have been exposed. A strong, reliable connection to the Internet is necessary to ensure our students and teachers have the resources they need to learn and succeed, and that working from home is effective and efficient.
Working with regional partners including the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and the Town of Nantucket, the Cape Cod Commission hopes to soon begin a study of internet access and gaps in cell phone coverage on Cape Cod and the Islands.
“Broadband is an increasingly essential component of our regional infrastructure,” said Kristy Senatori, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commission. “Critical access and equity concerns have been exposed by the pandemic with so many people working, learning and teaching at home. These resources will allow us to expedite a plan to address those concerns.”
Funding for the study is included in a bond bill recently passed by the Massachusetts Senate. Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr proposed three amendments to An Act financing the general governmental infrastructure of the Commonwealth, S.2790, including $400,000 for the Cape Cod Commission to study internet access and cell phone coverage gaps.
“COVID-19 is an accelerant to virtually every trend in the modern economy — including the widespread adoption of telecommunications technology to conduct essential errands, business, schooling, and socializing,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro), who sponsored the amendments. “These appropriations help ensure that rural communities aren’t left behind as the pandemic takes more of life online.”
The Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed the bill on July 2, 2020. As this is a bond authorization, it would require approval by the Baker-Polito administration in order for the funds to be realized.
The press release from Senator Cyr’s office can be found here: https://cccom.link/bond