The pace of CVFiber’s work continues to accelerate. We’re now at the point where the years of thought and planning will start to become reality. The next steps involve design and mapping work that must be done before construction can begin. Universal high-speed broadband is coming, folks!
This month’s newsletter includes:
- An update on our first on-the-ground project: a complete inventory of utility poles in the CVFiber district.
- CVFiber has hired a project manager to oversee the entire scope of the broadband buildout.
- CVFiber has received more than $815,000 in federal Covid relief funds to cover the costs of the inventory and other pre-construction work. We are applying for additional grants.
- A return to in-person meetings for the CVFiber Board and all its committees.
And now the details.
The Pole Inventory
In the very near future, you will begin to see vehicles with CVFiber signs conducting a pole inventory. Workers will be approaching all the poles, including those on private property. This is a big job and a necessary step; we need precise information on every pole in order to design and build a broadband system. The inventory should begin in July.
Workers will be gathering 48 different kinds of data for every pole, including: Exact longitude, latitude and GPS position, pole height and condition, available attachments and their precise heights, and what’s already attached to each pole. Workers will also take photos to document each pole.
As a reminder, the CVFiber service area includes Barre City, Barre Town, Berlin, Cabot, Calais, Duxbury, East Montpelier, Elmore, Marshfield, Middlesex, Montpelier, Moretown, Northfield, Orange, Plainfield, Roxbury, Washington, Williamstown, Woodbury and Worcester.
The Project Manager
CVFiber has hired Jerry Diamantides of Berlin as project manager. Jerry has been serving as CVFiber’s Treasurer and is a former member of the governing board. He has 25 years of national consulting experience with David Miller & Associates, Inc in construction planning, project evaluation, and project management. Given his background and his deep personal commitment to CVFiber, he was an ideal choice for the role.
“I’m very excited to be bringing Jerry onboard as CVFiber is starting to build fiber broadband for Central Vermont’s underserved residents,” said Jeremy Hansen, chair of CVFiber’s governing board. “His project management and financial skills in addition to an impressive attention to detail will help us both to deliver fast internet access to our future subscribers and be responsible stewards of public funding.”
The Money Is Flowing
Thanks to this year’s quick action by the Legislature and the Scott administration, broadband funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has already begun to flow to Vermont’s communication union districts. Because of the amount of planning that’s already been done, we can quickly get started on preconstruction activities. This puts CVFiber in a strong position to receive grant funding, since the state has put a high priority on getting work started as soon as possible.
Already, CVFiber has received a total of $815,000 which will fund the necessary preparations for construction, including the pole inventory and the high-level design of the network. CVFiber will continue to pursue more grants from ARPA funds. Details of the state grants received:
- $240,000 for construction that will bring high-speed internet to 100 locations FTTH construction in Moretown, Northfield and Roxbury (“Fiber To The Home” — the “drop” from a fiber line to a specific home or business.)
- $255,000 for the pole inventory in six towns.
- $310,000 for high-level design. This involves mapping out a framework of all the fiber that goes past every address in our service area. It won’t include connections to specific addresses; those will be mapped out after the high-level design is done.
Getting together in person
During the pandemic, most of CVFiber’s Board and committee meetings have been held remotely. Now that Governor Scott has ended the state of emergency and lifted all state restrictions, we are planning to return to in-person meetings as quickly as possible. as of this writing, we’re looking for a meeting space. We are planning to provide remote access to meetings as well, since that’s a benefit to a lot of people.