CHICOPEE – Mayor Richard J. Kos and Chicopee Electric Light General Manager Jeff Cady are pleased to announce that Chicopee Electric Light (CEL) has selected a consultant to perform a feasibility study for offering high speed internet service to businesses and households in Chicopee. CEL already has significant fiber optic resources throughout the city and is looking to leverage these facilities.
According to General Manager Jeffrey Cady, “The goal would be to increase the internet speeds available in Chicopee at a competitive rate. Business customers need reliable high speed internet just as much as they need reliable electricity these days.”
The first step will be a market research study to determine customer interest levels, competitive pricing, and service offerings. After that a design of the network will be conducted to determine the cost of bringing fiber to homes and businesses. Finally, a financial analysis will be completed to determine if the project is feasible. The study is expected to take 4 to 5 months to complete.
“Based on discussions that I have had with the Electric Light Commissioners and Mayor Kos, we all feel that if the study proves positive it could be a great economic development tool for the City. In fact, this may bring new customers to Chicopee resulting in increased electric sales and tax revenues.” said Cady.
“Broadband internet would be a game changer for Chicopee,” said Mayor Richard Kos. “This study will allow us to determine the feasibility of brining 1 gig internet service to the City and to our residents. It has the potential to provide substantial opportunities here in Chicopee.”
CEL has been offering fiber optic services to businesses in Chicopee through a partnership with Holyoke Gas and Electric for years. Chicopee Electric Light runs the fiber to the customer and leases the fiber to Holyoke Gas and Electric. Holyoke then provides the internet service to the customer along with all of the support services. CEL hopes to expand on this service and offer even higher speeds up to 1GB to customers.
If CEL moves forward with expanding the fiber service, it will provide the utility with more capabilities for distribution automation and automated meter reading. This will help the utility provide even better reliability then it does today.