We’re not quite speedy enough for a “Fast & Furious” sequel, but we’re making progress toward our goal of bringing fast Internet service to every location in the CVFiber service district. We’re beginning preconstruction activity, and setting the stage for further work. Meanwhile, we are one big step closer to another package of federal aid for broadband in Vermont.
The highlights in this month’s update:
- Moving forward on preconstruction
- CVFiber’s Broadband Plan presentation is viewable online
- Waterbury has become the 21st community to join CVFiber
- The U.S. Senate has passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill
- The Vermont Community Broadband Board has been formed
- CVFiber is reviewing actions to prevent a repeat of the incident in Tunbridge, where a dairy farm has suffered losses because of a fiber contractor’s error
And now, the details.
Taking the Next Steps
Within hours, CVFiber is to receive already approved grant funds from the state to conduct a pole inventory in Area A, which includes five towns: Calais, East Montpelier, Middlesex, Moretown, and Worcester. The inventory, which is a necessary preconstruction step, will begin as soon as we receive the (already approved) state grant funding. The initial inventory will be completed in October. A Request for Bids is being issued this week for pole inventories in Areas B and C to the same contractors: Apex, Eustis, and Tilson. We expect this work to be completed by the end of this year.
And we’re looking ahead to next steps: high-level design, detailed design and make-ready work. We have grant funds available for the high-level design and we are submitting grant applications totaling $4 million to pay for the Area B and C pole inventory, detailed design and make-ready work.
CVFiber has issued a Request for Proposals for accounting services and an auditor, and will soon issue an RFP to engage multiple contractors to perform the very time-consuming and expensive make-ready services.
We are issuing a Request for Proposals for the Make Ready part of the work. This will involve preparing each pole for connection to our network. We are also seeking bids for the design of our network. Finally, we’ve issued an RFP for an auditor, which is legally required for any entity receiving more than $750,000 in state grant funding.
An Overview of the CVFiber Plan
On July 28, CVFiber founder and chair Jeremy Hansen gave a slideshow presentation outlining our broadband plan. Roughly 40 people attended via livestream, and the reaction was enthusiastic. TO date, an additional 113 have viewed the presentation online. It’s worth watching if you want more information about CVFiber’s commitment to bringing fast Internet to our service district. The presentation is archived here: Webinar Recording – CVFiber Presents Broadband Plans – July 28, 2021.
Welcome to Waterbury
The village of Waterbury has become the 21st member community in the CVFiber district. Its application was approved at the August 10 CVFiber Board meeting. Waterbury’s delegate and new CVFiber Governing Board member is Linda Gravell; the Waterbury alternate is Christopher Shenk. Waterbury will now be included in all future plans.
Another Federal Aid Package Clears the U.S. Senate
On August 9, the U.S. Senate approved the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on a bipartisan 69-30 vote. The bill awaits action in the House. If it becomes law, Vermont would receive roughly $100 million for broadband. This could be a huge boost to CVFiber and Vermont’s eight other communications union districts.
At the state level, the newly-constituted Vermont Community Broadband Board is gearing up. It has held two organizational meetings this month and is creating a grant approval process as quickly as possible. The Board was created by H. 360, which was approved by the Legislature and signed into law as Act 71 by Gov. Phil Scott. The Board is trying to work as quickly and responsibly as possible in order to expedite grant funding to the CUDs.
Ensuring That CVFiber Will Be Farm-Safe
You may have read that a dairy farm in Tunbridge has lost much of its herd due to cows ingesting small pieces of wire. After cows began to sicken and die, Amber and Scott Hoyt found coils of lashing wire (a thin, steel wire used in telecommunications projects) on their property. They believe that coils of wire were broken up in the hay harvest; the tainted hay was then fed to their cows.
They discovered the wire after a contractor for ECFiber had installed lines through the Hoyt’s fields.
CVFiber takes this very seriously, and will not tolerate a repeat in central Vermont. Our governing board discussed the incident at its August 10 meeting; the unanimous sentiment was “Not on our watch.” Our contracts will have specific language concerning post-construction cleanup, which invokes the campground rule: Leave it better than you found it. CVFiber will also contact the Vermont Farm Bureau to reach out to farmers in the district.
Any Questions? Get in Touch
Contact us to send us a message or ask questions.