Archive for December 12th, 2012

Fiber Optic: Better News, Actually…We’re Almost There!

WEB UPDATE: Woodstock Early Bird needs to do some more questioning about what this really means: Hub or no Hub etc? Are the dollars raised by Woodstockers going to be used as advertised for a Central Village location or dumped into a larger pool that will not immediately assist here? More soon in a separate post – WEB

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We have had an update from ECFiber’s Dave Brown with a report that a recent fundraising effort to launch a fiber optic network in Woodstock may be closer than the group had previously thought. Here are the details.

(Note: Woodstock Early Bird is very excited and grateful to those who are offering to “front” the start-up of this technology that should help to finally get our community into the 21st century with all the potential opportunity that provides):

At last night’s meeting of the ECFiber Governing Board, Treasurer John Roy announced that the December 3rd sale of 15-year promissory notes yielded a total of $475,000, roughly twice what he expected. He added that there were approximately 45 investors representing 10 member towns.

Of the total amount, a whopping $165,000 was raised by residents of Woodstock. This money will be earmarked by ECFiber to deploy its high-speed fiber-optic Internet service in least well-served areas of the Woodstock.

Steve Carter and I will be working with the ECFiber delegates from Barnard and Pomfret to ensure that we get the best bang for our buck here in Woodstock. That is to say, we want to deploy fiber in the neighborhoods where there is a fairly high population density and where there is little to no other broadband service.

Eventually, ECFiber service will be extended to all residents and businesses in Woodstock but, starting out, we have to concentrate on getting the best return on investment for our network. The more paying customers we can connect to ECFiber now, the more monthly subscriber revenue we will receive, the sooner we can plow that revenue into expanding the network to everyone. It’s like rolling a snowball.

The Route Planning committee will be looking for clusters of homes that can be served most efficiently. Right now, the committee is having a close look at the density maps we have for Rte. 12 north, extending to Prosper, North Bridgewater, and Lakota Roads. We have also heard from residents of Cox District Road and Old River Road who believe that deploying ECFiber service in their neighborhoods would be beneficial.

Once the initial Woodstock routes are determined, ECFiber needs to file “Pole Attachment Applications” to the owners of the telephone and electric poles along these routes. The owners of these poles cannot deny ECFiber access, but they can take up to 6 months to process the applications. Some applications are processed quickly. Others, where the owner has to complete significant “make-ready” work, are taking longer. Licenses are granted on a pole-by-pole basis – and we don’t get them all at one time. Once we have the licenses in hand, deployment of fiber can usually be accomplished in 60-90 days. With luck, we should have our first Woodstock customers connected by early summer.