CrowdFiber Web App Launches

ROME, GA -  The crowdfunding application CrowdFiber (imagine a cross between Kickstarter, a GIS system, and Google's fiberhoods) launched today to bring together stakeholders in the creation of sustainable gigabit communities.

“It’s vitally important for service providers to have better tools to aggregate the growing demand for advanced broadband services, and communities need better tools to attract or justify infrastructure investments,” said co-founder Greg Richardson. “We built CrowdFiber to help people creatively address these challenges.”

CrowdFiber launches with five active campaigns: Baltimore, Md.; Lawrence, Kan.; Baldwin City, Kan.; Clarkesville, Ga.; and Rome, Ga. These campaigns are run by a variety of service providers and community groups and show the diversity of campaigns that can be explored with the tool.

CrowdFiber was created by Civitium LLC, a planning and engineering firm that has worked for more than a decade to develop strategies and engineer networks with service providers and communities around the world. Civitium partners and CrowdFiber co-founders Greg Richardson and Bailey White often saw a disconnect between the economic development goals of communities and the return-on-investment needs of broadband service providers. They created CrowdFiber to bridge that gap and facilitate new levels of collaboration.

Edging Out and Filling In

Using the online tool, service providers can create and manage “edge-out” and “in-fill” campaigns to aggregate demand in areas near their existing infrastructure. They can leverage social networks and build community support.  They can then prioritize investments to expand or upgrade their networks in areas where demand is the highest, thereby reducing risk while building community support.

Alternatively, service providers, community organizations, local governments and even citizens can start a new “greenfield” campaign.  A greenfield campaign allows campaign owners to draw geographic neighborhoods, called zones, on a map, set goals for either an amount of money needed or number of backers, define pledge levels, raise funds and aggregate demand.

“We’re extremely grateful to Habersham EMC and Parker FiberNet, our private beta customers who’ve been using CrowdFiber to extend the reach of their middle-mile fiber networks and brought their experience to bear on the creation of the product,” said White. “And we’re tremendously excited to see what Baltimore, Baldwin City, Lawrence, and the rest of the country will do with our product.”


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