News Release -- ECFiber
Sept. 10, 2014
Irv Thomae, Governing Board Chairman
415 Waterman Road, Royalton VT 05068
Office: (802) 763-2262
By John Roy, ECFiber Treasurer
Royalton, VT – Interested citizens, including several small business owners, gathered in Brookfield, Braintree and Randolph in July, August, and September as ECFiber began holding a series of informational meetings. Their purpose was to discuss new developments regarding broadband expansion. On June 30 the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) announced that it will be building 51 miles of open-access dark fiber optic routes to connect its Business Broadband Improvement Districts (BBIDs) in the ECFiber towns of Braintree, Brookfield, North Randolph, Pomfret and Sharon. As the anchor tenant on this new VTA infrastructure, ECFiber will be able to offer connections to businesses and residences along the VTA routes. The VTA BBID fiber optic project must include a $200,000 contribution from ECFiber, an amount that needs to be raised by September 30, 2014.
The VTA is also planning dark fiber projects in Reading, Stockbridge, Rochester, and Hancock. Through this infrastructure, another 30-plus miles of fiber cable along main routes will be available to ECFiber.
An additional benefit of the VTA fiber routes includes potential new ECFiber build-out along side roads that will be more affordable because they’ll be connecting to existing nearby fiber infrastructure. Once the VTA routes are complete in the first half of 2015, ECFiber will be able to offer its high-speed broadband (up to 400 Mbps!) and telephone service to an estimated total of 1,000 additional residences and businesses.
As Stan Williams, ECFiber CEO noted, “This commitment by the VTA, along with our planned loop in West Windsor, will allow ECFiber to offer service in 20 of our 24 towns in 2015 and provides a broad base for future expansion.”
Additional informational meetings will provide an introduction to ECFiber, outline the network routes, and the projected timing. ECFiber will be making its own capital investment as it builds connections between the VTA route and each business location. Attendees at the previous community meetings discussed ECFiber’s unique method of securing capital financing, namely the sale of tax-exempt promissory notes to individuals within the community. ECFiber has raised over $5 million to date from over 380 individual investors for current work. Fundraising is ongoing for continued expansion in member towns.
ECFiber will continue to hold local information meetings throughout the year in all of its member towns. Go to www.ecfiber.net for the latest schedule.
ECFiber is a consortium of 24 towns in East-Central Vermont. Step by step, we are building a community-owned fiber-optic network to deliver high-speed Internet to every home, business, or civic institution in our territory.
The Vermont Telecommunications Authority’s (VTA) mission is to support broadband and cellular service expansion in unserved areas of Vermont. It does that by building infrastructure and by making grants to telecommunications companies. The VTA’s fiber optic routes are open to any provider, broadband or cellular, wishing to lease fiber strands for use within their own networks. www.telecomvt.org
For more information, please visit http://www.ecfiber.net/.
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