Biddeford Internet Corporation, which does business as Great Works Internet Vermont (GWI VT), has reached an agreement with 22 Vermont communities to build an open access fiber network in the communities. The network is expected to serve 30,000 locations.
The communities worked together as the Northwest Vermont communications union district (CUD), which does business as Northwest Fiberworx (NWFX). Communications union districts are groups of Vermont communities that self-organized with the goal of gaining high-speed broadband. The state has 10 CUDs and NWFX is the latest to reach an agreement with a network operator.
CUDs can raise money through grants, debt and donations but not through taxes. The CUDs have received a considerable amount of funding through government programs.
NWFX will construct, own, maintain, and operate the network and GWI VT will lease it from NWFX. GWI VT will design and manage the deployment and operation of the network on NWFX’s behalf. A third-party installer engaged by NWFX will handle network deployment, and GWI VT will act as project manager.
“GWI understands what is important to us and the communities we represent,” said Sean Kio, NWFX executive director, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to forging a long relationship as we collaboratively work to build a network and provide universal and affordable service.”
Great Works Internet inked a similar deal last year with Arctaris Impact Investors to build new fiber broadband networks in unserved and economically distressed areas of Maine.