We’ll begin to connect our first subscribers in a matter of weeks, but you can now visit our website to get a clear idea of the services CVFiber will offer and how much they will cost. Out in the field, construction is continuing to progress, and we’re looking forward to full construction and connecting our first subscribers this summer.
The headlines for this update:
- Complete information on service offerings and packages is now LIVE on our website.
- Construction continues to advance despite Mud Season.
- Member towns have only a few weeks to take advantage of a matching grant offer.
- Free broadband installer trainings are being offered across Vermont.
- Welcome to Maggie Rai Tuck-Sauer, CVFiber’s new Community Relations Manager.
And now the details.
Service Options Described Online
The two most common questions we get are “When can I get service?” and “How much will it cost?” The first answer depends on when construction arrives in your area; you can sign up on our website for alert emails that will tell you when service is available. Information about cost is now a mouse click away. Just visit the brand-new “Services” page of our website. You’ll see all our available price packages, from $79/month for 100 Mbps upload/download to $199/month for our superfast 2 Gig (2000 Mbps) service. (By comparison, some Internet providers offer speeds as slow as 0.8/0.4 Mbps; the federal standard is 25/3.)
100/100 is more than sufficient to meet the demands of a typical household for single user streaming TV, music, and home office needs. Higher speeds might be preferable for those interested in multi-user streaming and gaming, remote work, videoconferencing, and interactive social media.
All our packages include unlimited data, a free WiFi router, and 24/7 customer support. Add-on features include phone service and static IP addresses. Information on accessing free streaming TV and paid streaming services can be found on our new guide to streaming TV for those who are curious about cutting the cord with cable TV but are unsure about how to proceed.
Construction: Slow and Steady For Now
We continue to experience the anticipated Mud Season construction slowdown. The vast majority of current activity is along unpaved roads, and we don’t want our heavy-duty bucket trucks bogged down in the slop. At last report, our crews had laid 19 miles of strand and 13 miles of fiber. Once the roads are fully passable, we’ll have multiple crews in the field throughout the summer and fall. Our goal is to build 400 miles of network this year. That’s roughly one-third of the total mileage in our district.
Meanwhile, the groundwork is being laid for installation of Optical Line Terminals (OLT), the hubs of our system. Some locations require a permit from the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). In mid-April, all parties involved in our first OLT location in Calais got together to complete a permit application. In early May, all of Vermont’s Communication Union Districts (CUDs) will have a training on how to apply to the ANR for the necessary permits.
Seriously, Time Is Running Short on Matching Grant Offer
May 31 is the last day for member communities to double their purchasing power for high-speed Internet. Until then, the Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) will match town commitments of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds up to $100,000. After that, well, you’re out of luck.
Thanks to Northfield for being the latest to step up, committing $90,000 of its own ARPA funds and securing an additional $90,000 for broadband activity within its borders. So far, three towns — Calais, East Montpelier, and Middlesex — have met or exceeded the $100,000 limit in grants. The rest of our 20 communities still have the chance to secure more matching funds. If you live in one of those towns, please contact your elected officials immediately and urge them to make or increase a commitment to community-owned broadband.
So, You Want to be a Fiber Installer
A free apprenticeship program is coming to locations across Vermont for those interested in a career in fiber installation. Those who complete the program will enter an industry that offers high paying jobs with significant opportunity for growth. If you’re interested in the course, visit the apprenticeship website or email [email protected].
This free program is being offered by the VCBB, the Vermont Department of Labor, and Vermont State University. The course includes safety training, flagger training, classroom work, and online OSHA training. And did we mention it’s free?
“There is an unprecedented need for workers in Vermont,” said VCBB Executive Director Christine Hallquist. “We have a list of employers who are looking to hire students upon completion of this program.”
CVFiber Hires Community Relations Manager
Say hello to Maggie Rai Tuck-Sauer, who joins CVFiber this month as our Community Relations Manager. Tuck-Sauer was our hiring committee’s unanimous choice from a strong field of candidates. “She’s a go-getter who always finds a way,” said Chuck Burt, Governing Board member and chair of CVFiber’s Communications Committee. “She also has a strong record of community service.”
Tuck-Sauer brings an extensive background in communications, marketing, and nonprofit management. She has been a leader in a wide variety of organizations. She founded a nonprofit organization focused on educating youth about civic responsibility and operated her own marketing firm. She also served for nearly two decades in the U.S. Army Reserves, and throughout her career she has been involved in volunteer efforts in her community.
Tuck-Sauer joins our team at an opportune time. As we get close to offering service to our first subscribers, there’s a growing need for community outreach. She will oversee and implement our marketing plan and coordinate activities with our Communications Committee and our marketing and public relations partners.
Connect with CVFiber
CVFiber is a community-managed organization that relies on volunteers to guide the effort and handle a variety of tasks. Volunteers serve on our Governing Board and Executive Committee, and make up the membership on our five committees: Communications, Finance & Audit, Planning, Development & Operations, and Policy. More information can be found on the “Governance” section of our website.
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 20 communities. A list of delegates and alternates can be found on our Governing Board page or you can contact your community’s 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 representing your community on the Board.
We also send regular updates to everyone on our email list. If you’d like to add yourself to the list, you can sign up quickly and easily on the CVFiber homepage.