CVFiber continues to make progress on all fronts toward the beginning of construction this fall. It’s a busy time, but it’s so rewarding to be this close to bringing high-speed Internet to central Vermont. As the song goes, “The future’s so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades.”
Here’s the rundown:
- CVFiber has chosen marketing packages to keep in touch with residents and offer Internet subscriptions.
- Time is running short for towns to match their ARPA grants.
- We’ve ordered materials for 400 miles of network construction.
- We’re hunting for more warehouse space to store all that stuff.
- Contractors have submitted bids for network construction.
- Update on ride-outs
And now, the details!
In preparation for network construction, CVFiber has chosen two experienced contractors, Cornerstone and CrowdFiber, to help us keep in touch with district residents and offer pre-subscriptions and subscriptions for our fast Internet service. Cornerstone produces marketing materials tailored for the telecommunications business that we can customize to fit our needs. CrowdFiber is a software package that will allow you to search your own address and find out when CVFiber is building in your area. When service is connected, CrowdFiber helps you choose a service plan and pricing.
Matching Opportunity Expires Soon!
The deadline is September 15 for member towns to double their buying power. Until then, the Vermont Community Broadband Board is offering up to $1.5 million in matching grants for towns that commit a portion of their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to CVFiber. The town grant funds and the match will all be spent within the town’s borders. Remember, this offer expires on September 15! If you want your town’s dollars to go even farther, contact your town officials now.
CVFiber has placed orders for enough materials to build 400 miles of fiber network — about one-third of the entire project. These materials will begin arriving over the next several months. Construction will start this fall when materials are on hand, and when utility pole owners have completed the make ready work necessary for fiber to be hung. Our goal is to deliver fast Internet to as many addresses as quickly as possible.
Search for Warehouse Space
As more materials arrive, we’ll need places to store them. We have some space at Washington Electric Coop, but we will soon outgrow that. “We have two promising locations for warehousing in Montpelier,” says CVFiber Executive Director Jennille Smith. “I am working with the owners on lease terms.”
Seeking Construction Partners
CVFiber has received several very good bids from construction contractors. This is an encouraging development, since there’s such high demand for network builders. We expect to have contractors under contract in August.
So far, CVFiber and Washington Electric Coop have completed five ride-outs, in which both parties examine each utility pole and determine exactly what needs to be done to prepare a pole for network connection. That work, which is called “make ready,” is due to begin in early August.
Connect With CVFiber
You can reach out to your representatives on the Governing Board, which includes one delegate and one or more alternate(s) from each of our 21 communities. A list of delegates and alternates can be found on our Governing Board page or you can contact your delegation through our Contact page. You may see vacancies for delegates and alternates. Contact your community’s Select Board or City Council if you are interested in joining a team that is making universal broadband in central Vermont a reality.
You could also volunteer to serve on one of our committees: Communications, Finance & Audit, Planning & Development, and Policy. This is a community-run effort that relies heavily on volunteers. The more people who are involved, the stronger we are.
We also send regular updates to everyone on our email list. If you’d like to add yourself to the list, you can use the “Subscribe to our Newsletter” option on the CVFiber homepage.