Worthington celebrates completion of broadband internet

  • Amy Wang, select board chair, speaks during an event recognizing the completion of the ComCast broadband build out in Worthington where Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor, attended along with other's on Sept. 30, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor, talks with Peter Larkin, the Chair of the MA. Broadband Institute, Charley Rose, Worthington select board member and chair of the Worthington broadband committee, and Amy Wang, select board chair, during an event recognizing the completion of the ComCast broadband build out in Worthington, Sept. 30, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor, speaks during an event recognizing the completion of the ComCast broadband build out in Worthington on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor, speaks during an event recognizing the completion of the ComCast broadband build out in Worthington on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor, sits with Peter Larkin, the Chair of the MA. Broadband Institute, during an event recognizing the completion of the ComCast broadband build out in Worthington, Sept. 30, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito speaks during an event recognizing the completion of Comcast’s broadband build-out in Worthington on Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Charley Rose, Worthington select board member and chair of the Worthington broadband committee speaks during an event recognizing the completion of the ComCast broadband build out in Worthington on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Patty Kimura, Administrator at Maples Senior Housing, speaks during an event recognizing the completion of the ComCast broadband build out in Worthington on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Eliza Lake, executive director of Hilltown Community Health Centers, speaks during Thursday’s broadband celebration in Worthington. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor, raises her hand in support of Charley Rose, Worthington select board member and chair of the Worthington broadband committee who was speaking during an event recognizing the completion of the ComCast broadband build out in Worthington on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Charley Rose, Worthington Select Board member and chairman of the Worthington Broadband Committee, talks with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Thursday, in Worthington. In the background is Peter Larkin, chairman of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 9/30/2021 8:06:41 PM

WORTHINGTON — Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joined an array of local dignitaries Thursday to celebrate Comcast’s broadband build-out in the town, and the impact the long-awaited arrival of broadband internet has had on the community.

“It literally changes your life to a certain degree,” said Charley Rose, a Select Board member and member of the town’s broadband committee.

Rose said the build-out has given everyone in town who has their utilities coming from Worthington the opportunity to be connected to Comcast’s broadband service. Rose also said that the town appropriated an additional $179,000 to give the final people in this category the opportunity to connect.

“It ultimately makes the town a more attractive place to live,” Rose said.

Rose was connected to broadband around Thanksgiving, which has allowed him to work from home entirely. He was one of the first people to be connected.

The build-out was accomplished via a partnership among Comcast, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, the state and the town. Those who connect to it can get the exact same services Comcast offers to its other customers in the state, at the same prices.

In his remarks, Comcast’s Dan Glanville praised the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker.

“This administration and this lieutenant governor … was involved every step of the way,” Glanville said.

Glanville also promoted Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides low-cost broadband internet from Comcast to those who qualify.

Select Board Chair Amy Wang was one of the speakers who spoke to the impact that broadband has had on them.

“It’s made a huge difference for my business, and my ability to conduct my business, as well as town business,” she said.

Former state Rep. Steve Kulik, D-Worthington, was also given credit for his broadband advocacy at the event.

“He would often talk about you, and this community and the need for this to happen,” said Polito, reminiscing about her time in the House of Representatives alongside the veteran lawmaker.

Kulik was unable to be at the event because he was attending an event digitally, utilizing Worthington’s new broadband.

Polito said it was unacceptable to her and Baker that when they got into office, 53 communities did not have access to broadband. Polito said that of these communities, 49 are receiving broadband services today and that all but one will have construction completed on their broadband networks by the end of next year.

“And that one is not far behind in having a solution,” Polito said.

In his remarks at the event, Rose praised the Baker administration’s work on broadband. And he said that even though he’s a lifetime Democrat, he voted for Baker and Polito in the 2018 gubernatorial election because of their partnerships between state and local government.

Eliza Lake, executive director of Hilltown Community Health Centers and a local farmer, praised the impact that broadband has had, saying that it’s been transformative for patients in the access it’s provided to telehealth. However, she also asked those assembled to continue focusing on rural communities.

“Help us to promote what an extraordinary place this is,” she said.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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