Archived First Event of the Series - Danville, VAArchived Second Event – Tinley Park, IL     Back to Magazine Home


Attendees from the region and around the country will benefit from the extensive experience of projects in the area, including . . .

MassBroadband 123 – A Robust, Regional Fiber Backbone
Aimed at creating growth and economic opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth, this new fiber optic network will bring high-speed access directly to 1,200 key facilities in more than 120 western and central Massachusetts communities. With construction completed earlier this year, many community facilities are already using the MassBroadband 123 network and hundreds more are expected to come online in the months ahead. Among the benefits of the new network are the creation of a robust regional fiber backbone. This will lower the barriers for businesses, institutions and neighborhoods seeking high-speed Internet access.

5 College Fiber Optic Network – Serving Bandwidth Intensive Customers
Five College Net and its partner G4S Technology offer dark fiber to businesses and organizations in western Massachusetts. Customers with a need for intensive bandwidth can connect to the Internet, expand their networks or build a new dedicated, private network by connecting to one or more of the 288 fiber strands in Five College Net’s 53-mile loop. First created for the area’s higher education institutions, the network offers direct connectivity to carrier-neutral colocation facilities in Springfield.

Leverettnet: Small Town Seizes Control of Its Broadband Destiny
Leverett, a town about 30 miles north of Springfield with fewer than 2,000 people, was underserved with broadband and took matters into its own hands. Citizens voted to fund construction of a last-mile fiber optic network from tax revenues – an unusual step. The town will hire a service provider to operate the network and offer Internet access and telephone service. Construction began in 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Leverettnet will connect to the Internet via MassBroadband 123 (see above).

The ION Upstate New York Rural Broadband Initiative:
This middle mile infrastructure project will serve more than 70 rural communities in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Its 1,308-mile fiber network will offer speeds of one to 10 Gbps, serving more than 300 anchor institutions, including libraries, state and community colleges, state and county agencies and health clinics. As described by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the project would help wired and wireless last mile service providers offer broadband to 250,000 households and 38,000 businesses, and “provide much-needed investments and job creation to unserved and underserved areas . . .”

Hometown Utilicom – A Fiber-to-the-Home Pioneer
Kutztown, a small community near Reading, Pa., deployed its FTTH network as early as 2002. As if to prove that no good deed goes unpunished, its efforts led to legislation that made it more difficult for other Pennsylvania cities to follow suit; as a result, Hometown Utilicom remains the state’s only municipal FTTH system. In addition to being a source of civic pride, the network has boosted the local economy and saved money both for citizens and for the local government.

Axcess Ontario – Dark Fiber Lights Way To Economic Development
Ontario County, NY, put itself on the fast track to greater economic development with its open-access, dark-fiber infrastructure. Axcess Ontario, the non-profit that manages the 200-plus-mile fiber optic ring, is a national model. The fiber ring was completed in December 2010, on time, $2 million under budget – and with no federal or state funding. From the outset, the mission of the project was to ensure that every community in the county, no matter how remote, had access to fiber. Businesses and municipalities today have access to faster and less expensive broadband, as well as bandwidth equal to global broadband leaders. Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government selected Axcess Ontario as a “Bright Idea” — an innovative solution that can assist other communities as they face their own challenges.

Connecticut: The Nutmeg Network – Helping Municipalities Get Fiber
The Connecticut Department of Administrative Services and the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) are responsible for this statewide, fiber optic infrastructure that improves upon and expands the availability of high-speed networking in the state. Consisting of the Public Safety Data Network and the Connecticut Education Network, the Nutmeg Network deploys fiber optic cable in numerous areas of the state with the aim of facilitating the efforts of municipalities to obtain their own fiber connections.

OpenCape Network – Creating Opportunities In SE Mass and Cape Cod

Already creating jobs via the hiring of local workers with skills in fiber optic installation, the new network is expected to generate tremendous growth in jobs and economic development opportunities throughout the region. It will also help lower the cost of local government, freeing up money to be invested by towns in other initiatives. FTTH “is one of the many future upgrades that would never be possible without the new OpenCape backbone network.” The OpenCape Corporation is a locally based non-profit organization operating with government funds on behalf of the region. It hired CapeNet to build and operate the vendor-neutral network serving southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.

New Hampshire FastRoads – FTTP to CAI’s and Homes in 19 Towns

FastRoads’ goal is to ensure that the region’s businesses, institutions and residents have a broadband infrastructure that supports jobs and sustainable economic development. It has completed a 161-mile middle –mile fiber-optic broadband network and 86 miles of last-mile fiber connecting 19 towns. It provides fiber to the premises to 233 community anchor institutions and 1,300 homes.

NHOS – New Hampshire Optical Systems, Inc. – Enabling Growth
“By building this network,” states the NHOS mission statement, “we enable economic growth and long-term sustainability.” NHOS was awarded the contract to design, construct and manage the Network New Hampshire Now Middle Mile Fiber Network. Using BTOP funds, NHOS will build and maintain an open access, dark fiber system.

Three Ring Binder in Maine – Open Access 1,100-Mile Network

The Three Ring Binder project proposes to create an open access fiber-optic network linking the unserved and underserved areas of the state together with a modern communications network. Its 1,100-mile network will pass through more than 100 communities and make broadband more readily available to 110,000 households, 600 community anchor institutions, and a number of last mile service providers. The public-private partnership expects to provide 100 Mbps broadband capabilities for University of Maine campuses, community colleges, government facilities, public safety departments, the MaineREN research and education network, and rural healthcare clinics and hospitals. It aims to attract businesses and create infrastructure necessary to support existing and diversified industries.

EC Fiber – 24 Towns in East-Central Vermont

ECFiber is a community-owned, subscriber-funded group of 24 towns building a Fiber-to-the-Home network providing ultra-high-speed Internet services and telephone to residents, civic institutions and businesses in East-Central Vermont. Since the beginning of 2011 ECFiber has grown from an idea with no funding to a network of over 150 miles with 700 installed subscribers and growing daily. By year end the network will extend over 200 miles with over 1,000 installed subscribers. And in 2015, with additional assistance from the Vermont Telecom Authority the network could reach 19 of the 24 member towns and extend over 275 miles.

Vermont’s Sovernet ­– Fiber Network To 340 Anchor Institutions
Sovernet is in the final stages of constructing a 900-mile fiber optic network in Vermont. Funded through the federal BTOP program, and the State of Vermont, it will provide fiber-based services to over 340 Vermont community institutions such as public libraries, public safety agencies, municipalities, State of Vermont offices, K-12 and post-secondary schools and healthcare institutions. With additional fiber miles beyond the BTOP project, Sovernet’s new network will span more than 1400 miles, and will interconnect with several other new adjoining regional “middle-mile” fiber networks, including the New Hampshire FastRoads network, MassBroadband 123 and the ION network in upstate New York.

VTel – Vermont Telephone Company – Gigabit to Rural Subscribers
VTel operates one of the most rural telephone networks in America – and offered DSL speeds up to 24 Mbps. Now it is extending GigE gigabit Internet over active fiber to every existing VTel customer – every farm, home and office – in all of its 14 Vermont exchanges . VTel is completely replacing the existing copper-based network – all with no monthly service charge increases. With the fiber, customers will have the option to add new video and new wireless services. The upgrade is made possible in part by stimulus funds via a Rural Utilities Services grant and a federal, state and local government partnership with private business. The project is championed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and projected to create 1,800 jobs in Vermont.

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