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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher Barich | No Comments | Updated on Nov 13, 2017

Local Fiber Network Will Expand to Six More Vermont Towns

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-fiber-network-will-expand-to-six-more-vermont-towns/

In August, East Central Vermont Telecommunications District (ECFiber) released their 2018 construction plans to expand fiber optic network to the towns of Braintree, Brookfield, Granville, Hancock, Rochester, and Stockbridge in east-central Vermont.

Homegrown And Community Owned

According to Irv Thomae, the District Chairman:

“Our mission is to build and operate a universal, open access, fiber-to-the premises network, ensuring state-of-the art connectivity to every home, business and civic institution in all of our member towns. We are pleased that thanks to our recent financing we can at last provide near-universal coverage to six more towns.”

As of October, ECFiber has built over 420 miles of fiber optic cable and connected over 2,000 active customers in parts or all of their 24 member towns. They plan to complete another 170 miles of the network by the end of 2017 and another 250 miles in 2018. “We plan to continue this process of filling out towns until the entire District is covered,” says Thomae.

ECFiber is a consortium of 24 Vermont towns organized as a Communications Union District under Vermont law (30 V.S.A. § 3052). ValleyNet, a nonprofit organization based in Royalton, operates the community owned fiber optic network. The Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) infrastructure provides symmetrical speeds from 17 to 700 Megabits per second (Mbps) with no data caps. Top speeds will increase to gigabit connectivity later this year.

In the organization’s infancy, ECFiber submitted several funding proposals to obtain grants or loans under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), but the funds were awarded to other local incumbent providers. From that point on, ECFiber utilized an innovative self-financing model by issuing promissory notes in a private placement offering. After a few rounds of fundraising and outside investment, ECFiber went live in 2011. The network has been expandingincreasing in speed, and keeping rates in check ever since. Currently the District funds projects with revenue bonds; revenue from the existing customer base has been sufficient to cover all financing. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 10, 2017

Lighting Fiber & Opportunity In Roanoke Valley, Virginia

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/lighting-fiber-opportunity-in-roanoke-valley-virginia/

In October, the Rowan Oak Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA), celebrated the completion of a 25-mile expansion of its open access fiber network. The completion of phase II of the network comes soon after the RVBA established office space in September and after the RVBA announced that it will be connecting new apartments in downtown Roanoke. Growth Is Good… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 6, 2017

Mount Washington, Mass. Lights Its Fiber Network at Last

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mount-washington-mass-lights-its-fiber-network-at-last/

After a long and arduous process, the folks in Mount Washington, Massachusetts, were finally able to light up their publicly owned fiber optic network last week. According to resident and Select Board Chair Eleanor Tillinghast, “We are thrilled. We’re going to be the envy of everyone.” It’s Finally Here As we reported last month, the community was eagerly anticipating… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 8, 2017

Local Authority Wins Across Colorado; Comcast Loses In Fort Collins

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-authority-wins-across-colorado-comcast-loses-in-fort-collins/

Voters in 18 19 Colorado communities chose local telecommunications authority with an average rate of 83 percent. In Fort Collins, voters weren’t swayed by rivers of cash Comcast threw at them in the final month leading up to a ballot issue to pave the way for local fiber optic Internet infrastructure. By a comfortable margin, ballot measure 2B passed, allowing the… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 2, 2017

Comcast’s Election Investment: Policy Brief On Seattle, Fort Collins, & Broadband Ballots

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/comcasts-election-investment-policy-brief-on-seattle-fort-collins-broadband-ballots/

Comcast is doing its best to buy elections in Seattle and Fort Collins and this new report from the Community Broadband Networks team found out why: the telecom giant stands to lose millions in customer’s service if their preferred option loses at the ballot. Continue reading