The university is looking to collaborate with other colleges, universities, municipalities, and state entities to offer similar services.
At a time when reliable internet access has never been more important, Bridgewater State University is partnering with a municipal utility that is aiming to improve its online products.
BSU entered into a fiber optic license agreement with Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant, whose TMLP Online service offers internet in portions of Taunton, Raynham, Berkley and North Dighton.
TMLP approached Bridgewater State after the university connected its campus to Markley Group’s Boston data center. The license covers two unused strands of fiber optic cable that run from BSU to the Markley Group, which bills itself as New England’s largest and longest operating multi-tenant telecommunications and data center facility.
“It doesn’t have any impact on BSU internet service,” said Steve Zuromski, ’04, G’09, BSU’s vice president of information technology and chief information officer. “We have multiple strands of fiber going to BSU.”
The agreement generates revenue for Bridgewater and is an example of the university serving Southeastern Massachusetts, Zuromski said.
The cable, which runs along the commuter rail line from Bridgewater to Boston and follows the MBTA subway system in Boston, was installed about two decades ago, but sat dormant until BSU began using it in 2018. BSU staff worked many nights with the MBTA and its commuter rail contractor, Keolis, to find the fiber and connect it to Markley.
That work led to significant benefits for BSU, including a more than 50-percent reduction in internet costs and access to an up-to-date data center.
Now, TMLP Online will install its fiber into the BSU conduit system to connect with the line to Boston. The utility will be able to access tier one internet service providers, Markley’s data center and bandwidth rates over 100 gigabits per second.
“This agreement gives us more diversity in terms of where we are getting our services from and ultimately allows us to be more competitive. ... As we continue to grow our online footprint, we are always seeking to provide additional layers of offerings and a more solid foundation,” said Kenneth Bell of TMLP Online.
BSU was the sole user of its fiber network to this point.
“The university is looking to collaborate with other colleges, universities, municipalities, and state entities to offer similar services,” said Director of Networking David DeLutis.
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