Broadband is coming … To portions of Guilford, Dummerston
Saturday June 30, 2012 BRATTLEBORO — Large-pace Internet access will increase into a substantial portion of Guilford and Dummerston under a new, multimillion-greenback infrastructure financial commitment introduced this week.
FairPoint plans to enable nineteen Vt. cities with broadband DSL company
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Saturday June 30, 2012
BRATTLEBORO — High-speed Internet access will expand into a significant portion of Guilford and Dummerston under a new, multimillion-dollar infrastructure investment announced this week.
The broadband expansion from FairPoint Communications Inc. will be finished sometime next year.
“We’re already starting engineering and construction,” said FairPoint spokeswoman Sabina Haskell.
Statewide, FairPoint expects to invest $6.6 million in 17 towns to bring new broadband service to more than 3,200 customers. Seventy percent of those customers will have download speeds of seven megabytes per second or greater, administrators said.
The project is part of a state-approved plan to redirect regulatory penalties assessed against FairPoint in 2008, 2009 and 2010 into broadband investment in areas that have no such service.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has pledged, under an initiative called Connect VT, to connect all of the state’s homes to broadband by the end of next year.
“The $6.6 million FairPoint has been required to invest in unserved areas is instrumental in reaching our goal,” Karen Marshall, chief of Connect VT, said in a statement accompanying Fairpoint’s announcement.
Mike Smith, FairPoint’s state president for Vermont, termed the project a “major component” of the state’s broadband plan and said the company has a track record of such investment.
“FairPoint has connected
more Vermonters to broadband, spending nearly $90 million and adding more than 1,100 miles of new fiber,” Smith said in a prepared statement. “I can’t think of any other provider who has invested more of their own money to make broadband available to those previously unserved.”
In choosing which areas would be included in the project, FairPoint used census-block data showing unserved areas identified by Connect VT.
In addition to Guilford and Dummerston, the targeted areas include portions of Bethel, Bradford, Brownington, Chelsea, Corinth, Eden, Fairlee, Johnson, Pittsfield, Readsboro, Thetford, Vershire, Washington, West Fairlee and Weston.
Haskell said FairPoint is extending new high-capacity, fiber-optic wire to remote terminals where it will be connected to traditional copper wire that extends to homes. That second step does not hamper data service, Haskell said.
“We have a fiber-based network,” she said.
Deadlines for the project are in June and December of 2013, Haskell said.
That’s good news for broadband-starved neighborhoods. At a recent Connect VT meeting in Putney, some Windham County residents said they had no access to high-speed Internet while others said they paid a premium for “mobile hot spots” that offered less-than-ideal service.
FairPoint’s plan includes sending broadband service into south-central Dummerston and a U-shaped portion of southern Guilford.
“We’re thrilled,” said Anne Rider, a Guilford Selectboard member. “It provides more opportunities for people to live and work in Guilford.”
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FairPoint plans to enable 19 Vt. towns with broadband DSL service
FairPoint has dedicated funds to bring broadband DSL service to an additional 19 rural areas in its Vermont territory.
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FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) has allocated $6.6 million to extend broadband DSL service to 19 rural communities in Vermont.
Among the unserved portions that will be targeted by this latest build are: Bethel, Bradford, Brownington, Chelsea, Corinth, Dummerston, Eden, Fairlee, Guilford, Johnson, Pittsfield, Readsboro, Thetford, Vershire, Washington, West Fairlee and Weston.
Upon completion the service provider said 3,200 of its phone service subscribers in Vermont will be able to have a DSL connection, with 70 percent of that group being able to access speeds of 7 Mbps or higher. Of course, the reality is that actual delivered speeds will depend on how far they are from the Central Office (CO).
Mike Smith, FairPoint state president for Vermont, said in order to support its broadband roll out in Vermont it “has connected more Vermonters to broadband, spending nearly $90 million and adding more than 1,100 miles of new fiber.”
This new build is part of an agreement the telco reached with the Vermont Public Service Board that allows it to redirect penalties assessed from 2008, 2009 and 2010 towards investing in expanding availability of broadband service in the state.
Last July, the telco said it had reached about 90 percent broadband penetration to its telephone customers in Vermont, and that it offers broadband service to over 83 percent of its telephone customers in Maine and over 85 percent in New Hampshire.
However, some residents in their Vermont footprint remain skeptical of FairPoint’s move. One reader on WCAX-TV’s website in Burlington, Vt. believes that users won’t get anywhere near a 1 Mbps connection neer mind 7 Mbps.
“Do you know what the state’s definition of broadband is? It is 760 Kbps download and 200 Kbps upload,” the reader commented. “Yes that’s a ‘k.’ If you want to talk Megabits that is: .760mps and .200mps. You may not see it but there is a decimal point in front of these last 2 numbers. And guess what speed your DSL is going to work? It’s hardly worth upgrading to these rates in this day and age.”
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