Picture left to right: Dawna Neron, ECFiber; Charlie Piso, Pittsfield Select Board Chair; Irv Thomae, ECFiber Governing Board Chair; Elizabeth Warner, Pittsfield Delegate to the ECFiber Governing Board; Mark MacDonald, VT State Senator, Orange District; Sandy Haas, St Representative Windsor/Rutland; Brian Collamore, VT State senator Rutland District; John Van Vught, ECFiber. ECFiber photo.
Vermont Business Magazine ECFiber released its 2018 construction plans today, identifying Braintree, Brookfield, Granville, Hancock, Rochester, and Stockbridge as the six towns whose homes and businesses will get access to a fiber-optic based internet connection in 2018. ECFiber will also build some mileage in Woodstock to initiate service there and to improve connectivity between West Windsor, Reading, and the rest of its network.
“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,” commented Irv Thomae, District Chairman. “We plan to continue this process of filling out towns until the entire District is covered.”
To date, ECFiber has built over 417 road-miles of connectivity in parts or all of 20 member towns. Last month it celebrated the completion of the Pittsfield build in ceremonies on the village green. “Pittsfield is the first of 6 towns to be completed essentially border-to-border this year,” according to Carole Monroe, ValleyNet’s CEO. “It is rare to have access to a fiber-to-the-home network in the most rural areas of Vermont where homes are sparse and access to poles is challenging. ECFiber is committed to those rural areas that are so often left behind. Powerful internet access in these areas is essential for home
businesses, education, healthcare, and economic development.” In addition to Pittsfield, the towns scheduled for completion this year are Barnard, Pomfret, Strafford, Thetford, and West Windsor.
ECFiber determined the towns for the 2018 build by looking at the relative numbers of residents and businesses who had subscribed by signing up on its website, while also considering the engineering requirements of the network as a whole, and, most importantly, focusing on places within its territory where truly high speed internet service is currently unavailable. Because ECFiber relies on existing utility poles to provide its services, and some neighborhoods are “fed” from lines that originate in other towns, some road segments on or near the borders of the six towns may not be served until the neighboring town is built.
ECFiber, a consortium of 24 towns organized as the East Central Vermont Telecommunications District, is a municipal body dedicated to providing full-strength internet connections throughout its territory. Under state law, ECFiber cannot ask for or use any taxpayer funds, in any form, from its member towns. All of its financing is through the municipal bond market, and revenue from the existing customer base is sufficient to cover all financing. The network is operated for the District by ValleyNet.
ECFiber offers real broadband: symmetrical Internet access (same upload speed as download), no contracts, no data caps, and a choice of speeds from 17 Mbps to 700 Mbps that do not vary by location, time of day, or according to the weather. Fully featured phone service is also available, with unlimited calling to USA and Canada.
Source: Royalton VT – August 7, 2017 ECFiber ecfiber.net