Regional Fiber Roundup: Fatbeam, Tech Valley, FastRoads, Lake County

July 23rd, 2012 by · 2 Comments

Not much from the big guys today or over the weekend, so let's take a look at recent items at the regional level from Fatbeam, Tech Valley, Fastroads, and Lake County, MN:

Out in the Pacific Northwest, FatBeam picked up a long term customer agreement with PocketiNet. Pocketinet has purchased dark fiber in Yakima and Sunnyside, as well as future extensions to East Valley and Moxee. Pocketinet serves business and residential customers across central and eastern Washington, with a network map that somehow has eluded me until today in my network maps section.

In a local article last week, Upstate New York's Tech Valley Communications mentioned some substantial fiber-to-the-tower opportunities in the pipeline. Specifically, they said they had been "commissioned by three major cellular providers to increase the fiber optic capabilities going to cell towers and allow increased capacity for 4G networks." That will be a big part of the company's planned $20M network expansion project in Albany and the surrounding areas.

In New Hampshire, the FastRoads project finally seems to be gaining some forward momentum. The $65.9M BTOP project will be using gear from Calix for both access and point-to-point GigE. The buildout, which is due for completion in June of 2013, will hook up the usual anchor institution suspects in the western half of the state with middle mile fiber.

And an NPR report last week highlighted the growing battle over another BTOP project up in Lake County, Minnesota. Mediacom is complaining that the only way the $56M project can fulfill its promises is by taking most of its customers away in Two Harbors and Silver Bay. On the other hand, Mediacom is accused of not improving its reach either on its own or via a BTOP application of its own. Wish they all could have gotten together on the project a few years ago, which would make it all much less messy now.

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Categories: Fiber Networks

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2 Comments So Far


  • Peter Pratt says:

    A minor point on the Lake County, MN story: The federal stimulus funding for the county owned network was part of the USDA’s Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), not part of the Commerce Department’s Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program (BTOP).

    In the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus effort, Congress appropriated $4.7 billion for BTOP, and $2.5 billion for BIP.

    The only real reason to understand the differences between the 2 programs is for going forward analysis of federal telecom capital subsidies. There is not an ongoing program like BTOP.

    BIP is most akin to the continuing Broadband and Telecom Loan programs of USDA, which see total annual subsidized loans issued of about $1 billion.

    Thus, if Mediacom and NCTA lay a glove on Lake County, they really win a round against the ongoing federal CAPEX subsidies for rural access networks — their real target in this fight.

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