WILMINGTON -- About 130 homes and businesses are said to be served by FairPoint's most recent broadband expansion project in town.
As part of the expansion, new lines were installed within a growing fiber optics network.
"These are lines that go to people's homes and depending on where they're located, relative to our exchange boxes or remote terminals as we call them, they can get up to 15 mega bits per second speeds from us," said Christine Rivers, FairPoint Senior Manager of Internal and Corporate Communications. "That's Internet speed as well as voice. That's the highest residential speed we offer."
The average customer browsing the web and streaming movies or television will be satisfied with a speed less than half of what is offered through this expansion, according to Rivers.
In Wilmington, the broadband service will reach customers along or on portions of Atherton Road, Dor Auf Radar Road, Grand Drive, Greenwich Road, Haynes Road, Higley Hill Road, Kidner Lane, Lake Raponda Road, Lawrence Davis Drive, Stonebrook Road, Tessahok Lane and Willis Road.
FairPoint received a grant for this particular project from the Vermont Telecommunications Authority in the beginning of the year. It was planned for those sections of Wilmington to have access in the fall. Instead, service was available in April, although the timeline for the grant stated the project was to be completed by the end of June.
Rivers told the Reformer that this was the second expansion in Wilmington through a VTA grant.
"We are delivering above and beyond our timelines, which is obviously great for our customers," she added. "This is the business we do every day. We're always looking for means to expand in rural areas under-served or not served at all. That's really what we do best in the state."
Another small expansion is planned for Wilmington, in which approximately a dozen more homes will have access to the FairPoint network. It is expected to be completed by June.
Since 2008, the company has expanded from providing its broadband service to 65 percent of its territory to now providing access to 92 percent of its territory, says Rivers.
Currently, FairPoint has plans to expand broadband access in Putney.
"We're always looking for additional means of funding," said Rivers. "We have expansions planned through this year, not only from the VTA but from the Connect America Fund, which we will be working on this year and well into the next year."
The Connect America Fund was created by the Federal Communications Commission to assist with getting broadband services in rural areas.
To see where and which services will be expanded, visit broadbandvt.org.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.