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Without a solid plan for the last-mile that includes fiber to the premises, the MBI middle mile is important, but doesn't do the job in and of itself.
Also, I take issue with Downing's comparison "You have communities falling over themselves to get Google to invest in high-speed broadband in their communities; we have a network operator here looking to do similar things in Massachusetts that has already had to make an investment in the area, is committed to the area..." This is comparing apples to oranges. Google's initiative hooks up homes and businesses DIRECTLY with up to 1 gigabit fiber. Axia has been hired to manage a middle-mile wholesale network that only directly connects anchor institutions, not homes or businesses. Big difference to we citizens, hence why Google's initiative is so appealing! I don't want to have to drive to my library to take advantage of high-capacity broadband, I want it in my home!