CVFiber chooses developer/operator team for broadband network

Vermont Business Magazine CVFiber has begun network developer and operator negotiations with the joint partnership of three firms, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) and Mission Broadband. This is a major step forward to delivering fast, 100/100 Mbps, broadband service to all addresses connected to the electrical grid in the 21 communities in the CVFiber Communications Union District. CVFiber believes that it has selected a team that shares its values and brings extensive experience building and operating a future-proof fiber-optic network.

“This partnership brings real-life expertise and commitment to the development of public fiber infrastructure by combining our local resources with a third-generation, family-owned Vermont Internet service provider and a telecom cooperative with national reach,” said Jeremy Hansen, CVFiber’s chair.

The CVFiber community network will consist of more that 1,200 miles of fiber-optic cable, cost approximately $50 million, and take four plus years to construct, depending on funding, materials, and labor availability. Construction will begin in 2022. The goal is to provide access to 50% of the unserved and underserved in the first two years, 80% by the end of the third year. Underserved is defined as those on the electric grid who have less than 25/3 Mbps service. The partners will leverage town, state, and federal grant funding available for broadband infrastructure projects.

“Creating a universally available, fast, reliable, and affordable internet option as soon as we can is critical to meeting the economic, educational, health, and social needs of our residents and businesses,” Hansen said.

Once an agreement has been reached, CVFiber expects NRTC to be responsible for design and engineering, managing materials supply, and managing and overseeing construction. WCVT would be responsible for the operation and management of the CVFiber community network, managing subscriber onboarding, and providing customer support. Mission Broadband would be responsible for program management, administrator support and business and coordination support.

About CVFiber
CVFiber is a nonprofit municipality, formed in March 2018 and has grown to include 21 communities that voted to create and join CVFiber. Each community appoints a delegate and alternates to the governing board. These representatives and other volunteers serve on six committees—Executive, Policy, Planning and Development, Communications, Finance, and Communications—which meet monthly to advance the goal of bringing broadband to our towns.

About NRTC
The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative is a member-driven and technology-focused cooperative that provides solutions to more than 1,500 electric and telecom members in 48 states to help them leverage all the advantages of today’s evolving technology. NRTC helps rural service providers grow by delivering end-customer technical support, NOC monitoring, network engineering, and revenue-generating services leveraged by a powerful service delivery platform. NRTC’s products and services are developed specifically to meet the needs of rural providers and their customers, and include smart grid and utility solutions, broadband engineering, infrastructure and managed network services, mobile service solutions, and programming solutions for video providers. NRTC helps ensure our members’ success by bringing national scope and scale to local, rural projects and helping integrate technology solutions with existing infrastructure.

About Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom
Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom is a third generation, family-owned telephone company serving the Mad River and central Champlain Valley regions of Vermont and has been providing telephone service to the Mad River Valley since 1904. As a locally owned Vermont company, WCVT is committed to its local communities, and recognizes the extreme value in deploying the most advanced communications services to ensure its rural communities are connected to their urban counterparts with similar quality service. WCVT makes significant annual capital investment in its network, continuing its network evolution to bring higher broadband speeds and greater reliability to a larger number of the extremely rural and high-cost locations in its service area. As a 117-year- old, family-owned, local Vermont company, WCVT is uniquely positioned to bring a 100% gigabit-capable fiber-optic network to Vermont’s rural communities.

About Mission Broadband
Maine-based Mission Broadband, Inc., (MBI) is part of the ProInfoNet family of companies, originally founded by Jim Rogers in 1995 as independent technology consultants. The team has provided superior consulting services to its clients across the United States for the past 25 years. Mission Broadband was formed to focus on municipalities’ broadband needs. MBI’s team has years of industry experience performing broadband network consulting, including feasibility studies, design/mapping, build, implementation, project management, funding availability, public-private partnerships, and administrative/operational support. Mission Broadband’s team of professionals has managed large community broadband fiber network projects and understands the technologies involved, operational aspects, and financial models that drive network builds and ongoing operational services. Through active listening and participation sessions, they work with clients to manage the scope of work and deliver a quality product.

Source: Montpelier, Vermont ⎯ CVFiber 12.1.2021