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Lamoille FiberNet questions and answers

April 22, 2022 — Have questions about Lamoille FiberNet, the CUD working to bring high-speed internet to all corners of Lamoille County? Here are some answers….

Q: What is the CUD’s Goal?
A: The CUD’s goal is universal access to high-speed broadband defined by the state goal of 100 mbps down and up (symmetrical) throughout the Lamoille County towns that are its members including Belvidere, Cambridge, Eden, Elmore, Hyde Park, Johnson, Morristown, Stowe, Waterville and Wolcott.
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Q: How does it plan to do that?
A: LFCUD is committed to owning and operating an open network available to multiple ISPs and to serve homes, small businesses and enterprise/commercial/institutional users.
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Q: How will the CUD determine who can use the network?
A: The CUD Solicited proposals from network operators and internet service providers in an open process. There were over 15 responses with a variety of approaches. The CUD is currently negotiating with a potential initial ISP which would be the anchor licensee.
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Q: Is Lamoille FiberNet going to be competing with other ISPs (Internet Service Providers)?
A: No, Lamoille FiberNet is building an “open access” network, and ISPs will be licensed to use our network. We anticipate more than one ISP will provide internet service on our network. Think of our network as a road with many different vehicles on it. Our licensing fee structure will allow multiple ISPs to use our network including any local providers.
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Q: How will Lamoille FiberNet be financially viable?
A: Our board is made up of a broad range of individuals with extensive and specialized experience in building networks, finance and management. We have worked for nearly two years to structure our business plan to ensure that Lamoille FiberNet will be on a solid financial footing and will be able to sustain operations.
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Q: What happens if the CUD fails? Will we lose our internet access?
A: No, Because CUDs (Communications Union Districts) are majority funded by the State of Vermont and under the supervision of the Vermont Community Broadband Board. In the event that the CUD fell into financial problems, the State of Vermont has the “Right of First Refusal,” meaning all of the CUD’s assets would be taken over by the State of Vermont. Service would continue.
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Q: Who will provide support and maintenance of the network?
A: Lamoille FiberNet will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of our network. When a tree falls, or an outage occurs for some other reason, we will have to repair it. We will have a maintenance and operation agreement with a company who will handle this work for us. Additionally, our ISP partners will be responsible for resolving customers’ issues. When a new service is installed or when a customer has a problem with their equipment, the ISP will be responsible for the equipment. To that end, our ISP will have trucks in our area servicing our customers.
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Q: Is Lamoille FiberNet using grant dollars to build to areas already served?
A: No, the grant dollars Lamoille FiberNet receives can only be used to serve “unserved” and “underserved” locations with some exceptions for areas we must pass through to reach “unserved” and “underserved” addresses. Our agreement with our ISP partner may allow us to attain additional funding which is not restricted, and those dollars could be used to build in other areas.

The mission of Lamoille FiberNet Communications Union District (LFCUD) is to make locally controlled, affordable and reliable high-speed internet service available to every address in our member towns – Belvidere, Cambridge, Eden, Hyde Park, Johnson, Morristown, Stowe, Waterville and Wolcott. For more info, go to http://www.LamoilleFiber.net.

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