Vermont Is Wiring Itself With Fiber Because Nobody Else Will

East Ventral Vermont Community Fiber Network moving forward…

06:24PM Thursday Jul 29 2010 by Karl Bode

Vermont already wasn’t exactly a great state for broadband, given the largely rural state is a ROI nightmare for large ISP bean counters. Their broadband fortunes were recently made substantially worse by Fairpoint Communications, who acquired Verizon‘s unwanted New England DSL network, then subsequently imploded under the not so watchful eye of Vermont regulators. Vermont’s been tired of waiting for uninterested ISPs to wire them so they’re working hard at wiring themselves.

The result is the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network, which tells the Burlington Free Press that the 22-town telecommunications network is “well under way,” complete with mysterious financiers. We’ve covered this network effort before, noting how it’s the brain child of a gentleman named Tim Nulty, who has repeatedly declared that running fiber to rural areas, if done right, is perfectly economical. This network (which will offer just broadband and phone service but not TV, for obvious economic reasons) is his opportunity to prove it:

Project Director Tim Nulty said the pilot would “prove our concept” of creating a high-speed Internet network for rural Vermonters, at no risk to taxpayers. Nulty has projected profitability for the network in its fifth year of operation, if 49 percent of the households in the 22 towns subscribe. . . He declined to identify the source of the funding for the project, but said the $75 million network is no longer in the running for a stimulus loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “We have some private investment,” he said. “We will raise some additional funds.”

Regardless of where you fall on the ages-old municipal broadband debate, Vermont has been an interesting broadband state to watch, from Fairpoint’s collapse and efforts to prevent these kinds of community efforts from succeeding, to the fact that a Google executive is running for Vermont Governor with broadband as one of his primary campaign platforms.

Article Continued On DSL Reports…

About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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