A Massachusetts Municipal Light Plant Seizes Internet Access Business Opportunities

25 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016

See all articles by David Talbot

David Talbot

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Edward Warner

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Carolyn Anderson

Crown Solicitor's Office

Kira Hessekiel

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Daniel Jones

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Date Written: July 7, 2015

Abstract

This report describes the development and recent expansion of HG&E Telecom, the fiber optic network division of Holyoke Gas and Electric (HG&E) in Holyoke, Massachusetts. HG&E is one of 41 longstanding municipal light plants providing electricity service in Massachusetts, of which 10 offer Internet access and other telecom services to retail customers, and 31 do not. HG&E Telecom competes with Comcast and Charter and serves approximately 300 business customers. It saves the municipality more than $300,000 per year. Its revenue has increased by 10 percent over the past two years and it has expanded into new lines of business. Given that data transport needs are growing while electricity sales are flattening, the record of HG&E Telecom suggests opportunities for other municipal electric utilities across the country, as long as they are in states that haven’t raised barriers to the provision of such services.

Suggested Citation

Talbot, David and Warner, Edward and Anderson, Carolyn and Hessekiel, Kira and Jones, Daniel, A Massachusetts Municipal Light Plant Seizes Internet Access Business Opportunities (July 7, 2015). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2627836 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2627836

David Talbot (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Edward Warner

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Carolyn Anderson

Crown Solicitor's Office ( email )

60-70 Elizabeth St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia

Kira Hessekiel

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Daniel Jones

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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