Skip to main content

Whip City’s Fiber Win

Once known for its manufacturing of buggy whips, the town of Westfield, Massachusetts, is now creating jobs with its fiber network.
“Westfield was able to benefit from the work-from-home trend,” said Mary Jander, Sr. Analyst and Editor, Futuriom. “In April 2022 on LinkedIn, there were advertisements for 4,654 work-from-home jobs. And that was for a population of over 40,000 in Westfield. In nearby Hartford, Connecticut, there were 4,600 work-from-home jobs advertised for a population of almost 900,000. You can see Westfield really had a benefit from fiber.”
Futuriom, a research and analysis firm founded in 2017, estimates the job value created by fiber to be in range of $88 million a year, a significant amount for a community of that size when compared to larger cities. But the benefits delivered to the community weren’t limited to work-from-home jobs. Whip City Fiber, a subsidiary of Westfield Gas and Electric, emerged as the fiber consultant to 20 of the surrounding towns, assisting them in building and operating their own networks.
Proceeds from Whip City Fiber get rolled back into the business to continue expanding coverage. Westfield expects to be completely served by gigabit speed fiber by 2025, with municipality buildings, and potentially some businesses, to get an upgrade to 10 Gbps speeds along the way. The completed network will cover over 152 miles and 32 subdivisions in the city.
Other benefits Westfield is experiencing is more resilient and reliable connectivity for residents in their broadband services, connectivity for the 17 schools in the area (enabling Chromebook-based instruction), increasing the value of real estate, and becoming a more attractive and affordable location for small businesses.
To learn more about Westfield’s fiber winnings, listen to the latest Fiber for Breakfast podcast brought to you by our Platinum Sponsor Wesco.