Cows grazing in pasture with mountain range and fall foliage in the background.


Internet at the speed of light

Lamoille County Vt

Many people ask us about the difference between their existing internet service and the fiber that Lamoille FiberNet is working to deploy.

Existing services like DSL and Cable rely on copper. DSL uses the same copper lines that phones have operated on for many decades. Much of that infrastructure is old and in need of replacement or repair. Sometimes when it rains, water creates problems that reduce internet speeds or disable it completely. Additionally, DSL requires that customers be within a specific distance from the CO (central office equipment) to get a connection. The farther you are from the CO the slower your speeds will be. While a CO might be capable of providing 25mb (mb = megabytes) down and 3 mb up, people at farther distances from the CO may not be able to get those service levels.

Cable is also on a different kind of copper wire, called “Coax” or coaxial cable. These cables are the same cables that Cable Television is delivered on. They can provide much faster speeds than DSL but are limited by the infrastructure. Cable, like DSL, provides slower upload speeds than download speeds.  You might get 300mb download but only 20mb upload.

“For both DSL and cable,” explained Val Davis, executive director of Lamoille FiberNet, “Much of this infrastructure is old as well, and both cable and DSL are not “future-proof,” meaning they cannot be upgraded further.”

Fiber is different from DSL or Cable because instead of copper it uses light to transmit data — at about 2/3 the speed of light. Fiber is very robust and durable and can support very long runs over 25 miles before seeing any signal loss. Additionally, Fiber can provide synchronous data speeds, meaning if you have 500mb down you can also have 500mb up, or 1gb (gb = gigabyte) down and 1gb up. Fiber will be around for many years to come and service levels can be increased by upgrading equipment at the distribution end and customer end, without needing to string new fiber.

In other words, Lamoille FiberNet is building a network that will provide state of the art data connections for many years to come. If you’d like to stay posted on the Lamoille FiberNet’s progress, please send an email to

The mission of Lamoille FiberNet Communications Union District is to make locally controlled, affordable and reliable high-speed internet service available to every address in our member towns – Belvidere, Cambridge, Eden, Elmore, Hyde Park, Johnson, Morristown, Stowe, Waterville and Wolcottas soon as possible. For more info, go to Contact

Photo showing the ends of multiple fiber filaments on a silver-colored background.

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