CVFiber is off and running! After years of organizing, planning, and fundraising, real-world activity has begun. Here are the items in this month’s update.
- The pole inventory is underway in five of our underserved communities. Look for vehicles with the CVFiber logo!
- The high-level design of the network has begun and should be finished by the end of this year.
- We received another $350,000 in grant funding from the state of Vermont.
- The Town of Worcester decided to allocate $50,000 in federal relief funds to CVFiber.
- As we develop our operational structure, we have received proposals for CVFiber developer/manager/operator and for auditing and accounting services.
- We’re currently preparing the required 2021 annual report and budget for 2022 that will be delivered to our communities in October.
- The Town of Washington named a new alternate delegate.
And here are the details.
Pole Inventory Underway
The pole inventory continues in Calais, East Montpelier, Middlesex, Moretown, and Worcester. Work crews are wearing yellow vests and their vehicles have magnetic CVFiber signs on the doors. They are inventorying every Washington Electric Coop and Green Mountain Power pole, roadside and off road, including those on private property. The work is being done by Apex, Eustis and Tilson.
The inventory is necessary for the detailed design and the make-ready requirements, such as what needs to be done on each pole to prepare it for the CVFiber network. This could be as simple as nothing to do or as complex as a complete pole replacement. This is a critical step prior to constructing the fiber network.
As grant funding becomes available, pole inventories will begin in 12 more towns.
High Level Design Underway
Vantage Point Solutions, an engineering and consulting firm, is creating the high-level design for CVFiber’s broadband network. This involves designing the main lines of the network structure and should be completed by the end of 2021. The detailed design, which lays out how the network is connected to each location, will be done in the early months of 2022.
More Grant Funding Secured
CVFiber has received another $350,000 in grant funds from the state of Vermont. The funds come from federal COVID relief for Vermont, and are distributed by the Vermont Community Broadband Board. The money is going straight out the door to pay for the pole inventory and high-level design.
A Member Community Chips In
The town of Worcester decided to allocate $50,000 of its federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to CVFiber. The money helps to offset the direct costs we are incurring. CVFiber is asking each member community to contribute a portion of its ARPA funds toward the development of this critical infrastructure need.
Every dollar in grant funding is one dollar less that CVFiber will have to borrow and will lower the ultimate cost of broadband service for subscribers.
Building a Management Structure
As work begins on building the network, CVFiber must also create a business structure.
CVFiber has received five proposals for a developer/manager/operator of the network. We hope to have an operator under contract in November. The operator will act under the direction of the CVFiber Governing Board.
CVFiber is also receiving separate proposals for auditing and accounting services. Expenditures over $750,000 in a year trigger an annual audit. It is likely that CVFiber will expend around $1 million in the last quarter of 2021 alone.
Annual Report and 2022 Budget
CVFiber has a statutory obligation to prepare an annual report. That document will be done by mid-October. The Board has approved a 2021 year-end forecast and 2022 Budget, which together with the annual report will be sent to each of the twenty-one communities for review and feedback.
New Members of the Governing Board
Walker Blackwell is the new alternate delegate for the Town of Washington. Each member town has a seat on the Board; you can find a list of delegates on the CVFiber website at https://cvfiber.net/governance/.
Questions? Feel Free to Reach Out
CVFiber is a community organization, and we welcome input from district residents. You can reach out through your town’s delegate or alternate or send an inquiry at https://cvfiber.net/contact/.