Fiber Optic Cable

Ziply Fiber announced plans today to upgrade its existing copper networks in three Northwest markets to fiber broadband capable of supporting speeds up to 5 Gbps. The markets are Wenatchee, Washington and Osburn and St. Maries, Idaho.

Earlier this year, Ziply was one of the first companies to launch 5 Gbps service, which the company made available in 60 markets. Some of those markets previously were served via GPON technology that was upgraded to XGS-PON to support the higher speeds.

Other markets, like the ones announced today, previously had copper infrastructure, requiring the deployment of fiber to the home to support the XGS-PON technology.

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Ziply emerged on the scene in 2020 when its owner WaveDivision Capital purchased Frontier operations in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

According to today’s press release about the Ziply Fiber 5 Gbps expansion, Ziply has committed to investing more than $500 million to build a 100% fiber network to underserved suburban and rural communities.

The company said it already has invested more than $30 million to upgrade its fiber backbone in central and eastern Washington and into western Idaho.  

“That work has enabled the company to bring high-capacity, 100G and 400G connections to and through much of the region, connecting into several downtown cores, making the eventual fiber-to-the-premises projects easier and faster when they begin,” Ziply explained.

Ziply will be getting funding to cover some of the costs of its network upgrades through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Earlier this month, the FCC approved Ziply winning RDOF bids for projects in all four of the states that the company serves.

The RDOF program was designed as a reverse auction, in which funding for an area went to the company that committed to deploying broadband there for the lowest level of government support.

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