Plainfield, CT – June 3, 2021 – In late May, expert construction crews from Sertex Broadband Solutions began installing fiber optic cabling on utility poles throughout the small town of Plainville, Connecticut — the first step in building a municipal fiber network that will connect town offices, wastewater treatment facilities, emergency services, and educational institutions this fall.
Plainville’s community anchor institution (CAI) network will connect facilities in all four corners of the municipality with the town center. It includes 12.5 miles of aerial cabling and three underground spans running beneath major highways. Like all other towns in Connecticut, Plainville received two fiber connections in 2009 that connected the town to the Nutmeg Network, a statewide network of public safety and educational entities. One fiber connection from the Connecticut Education Network linked to Plainville High School, while a second connection from the Public Safety Data Network linked to the police station. These Nutmeg Network connections were designed to improve connectivity and reliability with a state-of-the-art fiber broadband infrastructure.
Sertex is currently building the town-wide CAI network off these two single points of fiber to unite:
- all wastewater treatment facilities, allowing remote system monitoring and control;
- all schools – Toffolon School, Wheeler School, Linden Street School, Plainville Middle School, and Plainville High School;
- all public safety services;
- the library, and
- all town departments within and outside of the Municipal Center.
“We’re very excited that this project is underway,” said Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee. “It took almost two years for our local utilities to complete Make Ready work on the poles and issue licenses to attach fiber. Once the network is operational, all town services will use the same phone and internet network, a change that will save the town money and increase network reliability in emergency situations.”
Under its agreement with Sertex, the town of Plainville will own its fiber infrastructure rather than leasing the service from a telephone or cable provider. There will be no recurring fiber lease or circuit charges, saving tens of thousands of dollars in leasing fees over the 25 to 30-year lifespan of fiber optic cables. According to Lee, “This is a sensible investment – our calculations indicate that the town will save an average of $40K per year in operations costs as a result of being able to utilize the high-speed fiber network.”
Once the CAI Network is completed, Plainville town officials and residents can decide whether to expand the network to include broadband service to homes and businesses in the community. “A town-owned broadband network would mean that residents would pay a much lower fee for much better internet service combined with phone services,” continued Lee. “Our residents and businesses would save money and actually have control over their network. High-speed internet access has so many advantages. It could reduce costs and improve quality of life for current residents, increase property values, and help us compete as a community for new businesses and residents.”