Washington Electric Cooperative is participating in a state-wide initiative to bring fiber optic internet (commonly referred to as 'fiber') to as many communities in our territory as possible. We are currently partnering with three Communications Union Districts (CUDs) to deploy fiber. WEC's involvement is simple. We provide the infrastructure CUDs use to deploy fiber.
WEC is not an internet service provider (ISP), even though we are assisting in bringing fiber to rural Vermont. We're still your local electrical co-op, helping the community in any way we can.
As this project grows, our members will be able to find information on WEC's progress and involvement right here on this page. So, make sure to check back every once in a while!
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Broadband Update from CVFiber’s Governing Board Chairby Jerry Diamantides
WEC’s General Manager, Louis Porter, and CVFiber Governing Board Chair, Jerry Diamantides, have signed a 49-year lease for a 500-square-foot plot adjacent to WEC’s Calais substation. This location will contain CVFiber’s hub for fiber Internet service along 135 miles in parts of Calais, Woodbury, Worcester, and East Montpelier. Weather permitting, Eustis Cable Enterprises will be pouring the concrete for the hub pad in December.
CVFiber has announced its subscription fees for home internet service for symmetrical speeds of 100 Mbps at $79, 500 Mbps at $99, 1 Gig at $129, and 2 Gigs at $199 a month. Commercial service fees for speeds up to 10 Gigabits symmetrical will be determined on an individual basis depending on the service needs of the user.
CVFiber is a nonprofit municipality governed by delegates appointed by each of its twenty-member communities. While grant funds are expected to cover 50% of the estimated $60 million to construct a 1,200-mile fiber-to-the-home network, subscription revenues will be necessary to cover the debt service on the remaining construction costs, as well as operations and maintenance costs. The subscription fees have been set to meet those anticipated costs and operate a sustainable business. The cost to design, purchase materials, make utility poles ready for fiber, and then construct these first 135 miles is approximately $7 million.
CVFiber will be participating in the federal Affordability Connectivity Program (ACP), which will provide those who qualify with $30/month in support of monthly subscription fees. Our website, cvfiber.net, will provide information and links to help subscribers check their eligibility and sign up for available support.
In addition, CVFiber will be working with the Equal Access to Broadband initiative that will help our subscribers access the federal ACP program and potentially other programs to further lower the monthly costs to our subscribers.
So, when is the CVFiber Community Network coming to your neighborhood? CVFiber’s website, cvfiber.net, is building capabilities to allow potential subscribers to input their address to check on fiber service availability, and when ready, select service level, and pre-subscribe. The website will describe service levels and fees, allow you to schedule installation date and time, and provide information and links to ACP and other access-support programs that may be available.
Construction is starting in December. You’ll see Eustis’ trucks working on poles in parts of Calais, Worcester, Woodbury, and East Montpelier. You’ll also see the vehicles of our construction manager, NRTC performing design inspections. CVFiber gives a giant “THANK YOU” to the folks at WEC who have worked hard to get their poles ready for our fiber installation. And WEC, like us, is waiting for Santa to deliver the next load of poles to keep our crews working and bring reliable broadband to Central Vermont. A safe and happy holiday season to all.
Jerry Diamantides is the Governing Board Chair of CVFiber. Learn more at cvfiber.net.
Message to Our Members
In the coming months, WEC members may see vehicles and personnel working on behalf of CVFiber on local roads. Their vehicles have CVFiber signage and crew members are wearing work vests. Contractors in the field are instructed to identify themselves when asked to by WEC members, and to get permission before going onto member property or posted property to conduct their pole inventory work. If you’re not at home, they may ask a neighbor to contact you to let you know that workers are looking to access a pole on your property.
In March, the same CVFiber pole inventory crews are scheduled to work in the WEC member towns of Orange and Washington. Later this spring, crews will be working in Barre Town, Cabot, Duxbury, Marshfield, Northfield, Plainfield, Roxbury, Williamstown, and Woodbury.
WEC and our partner CUDs, like CVFiber, require all contractors to act in a professional and workman-like manner, whether in direct contact with you or simply on the job site. They are expected to leave the areas they work in and survey clean and free of debris or other hazards. This is important to us as we continue of mission of environmental and community stewardship.
Again, if you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact the WEC office at 802-223-5245 or CVFiber at email@example.com or 802-552-3088.
Please note: Timelines subject to change. Check back frequently for updated information.
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