An internet service rate reduction will help stimulate business in downtown Falmouth and possibly attract new commerce to the area, according to a top local economic development official.
OpenCape Corporation, a nonprofit technology company that operates a fiberoptic network on the Cape and Islands, announced Wednesday that affected businesses will now be able to pay $80 a month, rather than $117, for connectivity.
The rate cut stands out at a time when inflation and cost escalation are at the top of the news, said Wayne Lingafelter, executive director of the Falmouth Economic Development and Industrial Corporation.
The lower rate will benefit businesses dependent on high-speed internet for their operations, including their ability to process sales transactions in a timely manner, he said.
The work-from-home trend is having disparate impacts on communities, and stores with physical locations have had to adjust to the constant pressure from online retailers. Lingafelter said Falmouth is holding its own.
“We’ve seen a significant rebound and probably a return to something that resembles pre-COVID levels,” he said. “Last summer was very very good for the merchants and we would expect this summer to be as strong.”
OpenCape CEO Steve Johnston said reliable internet service remains a major need in southeastern Massachusetts and said the state should be investing significantly more in a product that’s become a basic necessity.
The situation in Falmouth shows what’s possible, he said, and OpenCape is also building out service in Hyannis to help close the digital divide between those who have good internet access and those who don’t.