Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Content tagged with "ziply"Displaying 1 - 4 of 4
The Idaho Broadband Advisory Board (BAB) has greenlit $120 million in broadband grants from the Idaho Capital Projects Fund (CPF) to fund 18 different broadband projects across Idaho, delivering affordable fiber access to 30,000 homes and businesses, many for the first time.
It’s the latest round of funding made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act, passed in 2021 to help soften the impact of COVID. A breakdown of the finalized awards indicate 18 different providers received funding from BAB, including a $9.8 million award to Comcast and more than $11 million to Ziply Fiber.
“These awarded projects are another important step in furthering the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board’s mission of ensuring that all Idahoans have access to affordable and reliable internet,” Idaho Broadband Advisory Board Chair, Representative John Vander Woude said in a prepared statement. “These projects will connect homes and businesses across the entire State.”
Seven of the award recipients were individual counties pursuing varying options to shore up access to largely rural unserved and underserved residents.
The Port Of Whitman County is one of several rural Washington communities set to nab another major infusion of broadband grants courtesy of federal Covid disaster relief. A fresh infusion of $1.1 million announced last week will help the County expand a five city (Palouse, Garfield, Oakesdale, Tekoa and Rosalia) fiber expansion project to 104 unserved homes.
In partnership with Ziply Fiber, the Port will bring fiber connectivity to those homes that were not included in the first phase of the project. According to city officials, construction will begin in the fall 2023 and be complete by spring 2024.
It’s part of a broader $121 million in new broadband grant awards doled out by the Washington State Broadband Office to expand access to affordable broadband service across traditionally underserved portions of the state. All told, the new awards will be used to fund more than 19 different projects, bringing improved broadband access to nearly 15,000 state residents.
“These grants will provide initial service availability to 14,794 end users located across the state, in communities as diverse as the San Juan Islands, Kittitas County and the Spokane reservation,” Washington Broadband Office Director Mark Vasconi said of the latest round of funding.
Ziply Fiber has been increasingly active across Washington State, helping municipalities expand access to affordable, open access fiber networks. Those efforts have received a significant boost with the news that Ziply has acquired iFiber Communications, a Washington state open access ISP that works closely with Washington’s growing public utility districts (PUDs).
According to the Ziply announcement, the acquisition was for an undisclosed sum, but should dramatically help the company’s focus on expanding affordable fiber broadband service to Pacific Northwest customers long unserved or underserved by regional broadband monopolies like Comcast and Frontier Communications.
Ziply Fiber has unveiled new fiber construction projects across more than 90 cities and towns across the Northwest since the company began its fiber expansion plans in the summer of 2020. The iFiber acquisition is the second this year, Ziply having acquired Oregon fiber and wireless ISP Eastern Oregon Net, Inc (EONI) last June.
They’ve been particularly active in Washington state, most recently partnering with the Snohomish county government to leverage a $16.7 million Broadband Infrastructure Acceleration grant to expand affordable fiber access across the county. Ziply’s also been in talks with Whidbey Island, Washington officials on a major fiber expansion push.
Whidbey Island, Washington is the latest region poised to benefit from a major, multi-pronged boost in state fiber investment. Financing provided by the Washington State Public Works Board, combined with federal broadband infrastructure acceleration grants, should soon dramatically expand affordable fiber across various parts of the island.
Last December, the Washington State Public Works Board approved $44.6 million in financing for 15 broadband projects across the state. That included $4.8 million for the Port of Coupeville on Whidbey Island to expand fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband service to under-served island communities.
As with countless U.S. towns and cities, Covid-19 home schooling and telecommuting dramatically highlighted a need to improve access to affordable, future-proof broadband infrastructure.
“We learned during the pandemic when we were trying to do school and Zoom meetings or virtual meetings, that having that capacity in the Internet was critical to our ability to educate our kids, do business, operate government and even just have parties with our families when we’re in isolation,” Island County Commissioner Janet St. Clair recently told the Whidbey News Times.
Bidding Process For Potential Partners Now Open
Initial reports stated that the Port of Coupeville would primarily be working with Ziply fiber, which was expected to finance the remainder of the fiber project’s estimated $8 million price tag. Other reports suggested that Ziply would be seeing exclusive operation/ownership rights as part of the arrangement.
But Ziply and Port of Coupeville representatives told ILSR those reports were premature, the full scope and details of the project remain very much in flux, and additional bidders were now being considered.