ECFiber wins Vt. grant to bring fiber to Norwich, ThetfordBy Sarah Brubeck
The Valley News | April 20,2013NORWICH — ECFiber has received a nearly $170,000 grant from the Vermont Telecommunications Authority to bring broadband Internet to 17 homes in Norwich and Thetford.
ECFiber applied for the VTA grant because the state was looking for providers who could serve residents who would otherwise not receive broadband by the end of 2013, said ECFiber Chairman Irv Thomae, who lives in Norwich. Gov. Peter Shumlin has made a commitment to connect each Vermont home to broadband by the end of the year.
The $167,569 grant will allow ECFiber to connect Norwich residents on Bragg Hill Road, Cossingham Road, New Boston Road, Kerwin Hill Road and Route 132. Numerous residents on Main Street in Thetford’s Union Village will also be connected.
For each mile of fiber, it will cost ECFiber $25,000, Thomae said, which means the VTA’s grant will build roughly 6.5 miles of fiber.
ECFiber is based out of Royalton and is committed to spreading fiber-optic cable to 23 Vermont municipalities. To date, ECFiber has raised more than $3 million from investors and connected about 300 customers in Royalton, Bethel and Barnard. Thomae said he hopes that connections to Vershire residents can begin next week.
“The grant directly affects 17 addresses on these roads, but along the way to get to those specific 17 addresses, dozens of other addresses will benefit too,” Thomae said. “Having some miles that we didn’t have to borrow money to build helps us build the whole system a bit faster.”
This is the first grant that ECFiber has received from the VTA. ECFiber also plans to use the Orange County Fiber Connector, which is a 40-mile backbone for broadband Internet that will run through Chelsea, Vershire, West Fairlee, Thetford, Strafford and Sharon. The connector is being overseen by the VTA.
ECFiber has not yet connected any homes in Norwich or Thetford, Thomae, said, and the holdup has been due to lengthy utility pole licensing, which can take six months. Thomae said the organization has received pole licenses in scattered locations, but not enough to create a long string of fiber.
Thomae stressed that ECFiber is still fundraising, and its latest round will run through May 1. He hopes significant construction can begin this year in Vershire, Chelsea, Thetford, Strafford and Norwich. But Thomae couldn’t speculate when the 17 homes that will be sponsored by the grant will see a connection.
“I hate to make a promise that I can’t keep,” Thomae said.
@Tagline:sbrubeck @vnews.com.MORE IN Southern VermontThe Department of Health could lose its funding from Entergy next year, ending more than 42 years... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.