Plainfield, CT – December 15, 2020… Tired of waiting for telecommunications giants to deliver promised high-speed internet services, a growing number of rural towns in the Northeast are taking back control by building publicly-owned last-mile fiber broadband networks in their communities. Sertex Broadband Solutions, the leading regional expert in fiber optic infrastructure deployment, has made this possible with their new public-private municipal broadband model.
The challenge in bringing reliable broadband to rural areas is the build-out costs. When small populations are spread across large geographic areas, hundreds of miles of network infrastructure must be built, often through remote and rugged terrain. To ensure affordability, a public-private partnership between local governments and Sertex leverages the municipality’s ability to finance capital projects. For taxpayers, access to public bonding means the cost for a publicly-owned fiber network that connects every home and business to high-speed internet service can be less than $1 day.
The lack of high-speed internet access in rural areas has been a longstanding issue. During the pandemic, this problem hit a crisis level as residents struggled to work and learn from home. For many, the untenable situation is forcing them to move out of communities they love to relocate for better bandwidth. By investing in fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks, towns can give residents and businesses the gigabit-speed connectivity they need to remain in town and open the door to business growth. FTTH investment is also proven to increase market value for real estate in the community.
As infrastructure experts, Sertex has the capabilities and resources to offer end-to-end services, including network planning and design, aerial and underground construction, fiber connections to all residences and businesses, operation and maintenance of network electronics, network services with multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and emergency response services.
“Broadband is now an essential utility,” said Michael Solitro, president and CEO of Sertex LLC. “Like roads and power, fiber is a basic infrastructure that towns need for residents and businesses to thrive. And it can be built and run cost-effectively. Publicly-owned/privately-operated fiber optic networks can pay for themselves and be revenue-generating over time.”
Sertex has deployed hundreds of fiber infrastructure projects in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island since its founding in 1999. Over the past four years, the company has partnered with 17 small towns in Western Massachusetts to construct over 1,000 miles of FTTH networks and connect more than 15,000 rural customers to gigabit-speed internet service.
On Block Island, Sertex is building the first publicly-owned/privately-operated FTTH network in Rhode Island. The Island-Wide Broadband Network will use four strands of the eight-strand fiber optic cable that connects Block Island to the mainland. With an $8 million capital expenditure financed by the sole municipality on the island, the Town of New Shoreham, taxpayers’ average cost for broadband internet, telephone, network operations, and maintenance will be $105 per month. Construction, with drops to 1,700 properties, is expected to be complete in 12 months.
“Our vision is to connect every rural home and business to the internet with gigabit fiber optic service,” continued Solitro. “By building high capacity networks, the small towns we serve can gain a unique competitive advantage by creating infrastructures for economic growth.”
For more information, visit https://www.sertexbroadband.com.