Claiming LTE wireless can’t deliver broadband as robust, the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network is planning a pilot project to serve the sparsely populated 23-town region.
Frustrated by the lack of broadband service, citizens in a group of towns in rural Vermont are developing a plan to build their own fiber-based broadband service.
It’s called the East Central Vermont Community (ECVC) Fiber Network and, although it is facing tough odds, the group believes it can succeed where big cash-laden carriers have failed to deliver the service in the 23-town region.
The residents in the thinly populated area where dairy cows outnumbered humans until recently are scraping together $1 million to launch their network as they watch enviously the $116 million award of federal stimulus funds given recently to one carrier. In addition, the ECVC residents still have to deal with a bankrupt FairPoint Communications, which continues to provide telecom services throughout much of the state. Technology is an important issue, too — whether fiber, or DSL or satellite or LTE or a mix of those technologies is the best way to provide broadband service to rural areas.
“We’re looking to build a profitable pilot,” said Tim Nulty, manager of the ECVC project, in an interview. “We want to build it and show people that fiber-to-the-home will work, that it can be done. I’m pretty confident it will work.” If the pilot demonstrates financial feasibility, the plan is to use a successful pilot rollout to produce funding to string 1550 miles of cable to cover the 700 square-mile region. About 55,000 citizens and 22,000 premises are in the sparsely populated region.
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- Sonic.net Will Manage Google’s Stanford Fiber Network (gigaom.com)