Tag: "i3"

Posted May 1, 2017 by lgonzalez

Private sector i3 Broadband recently announced that it will begin expanding infrastructure in the Champaign and Urbana, Illinois, communities. Construction will begin no later than August 1st.

Trading Partners

Nonprofit UC2B obtained $26 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to deploy its urban Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) project. The project offered residents high-quality Internet access for as little as $19.99 per month.

UC2B found private sector partner iTV-3 to take over operations and invest further in the network in 2014. One of the reasons UC2B chose iTV-3 was the company’s commitment to invest its own resources into expanding so others in the Urbana-Champaign community would have access. iTV-3 expanded, but slowly.

When iTV-3 decided to sell its assets to Countrywide Broadband in 2016, UC2B had the right of first refusal for fiber deployed by iTV-3, but decided not to exercise that right. Countrywide created i3, based in Peoria, to serve current and future subscribers in the region. While those watching the transaction were concerned about losing a local partner, folks the area were also optimistic because i3 has the capital for a more aggressive expansion schedule.

Aggressive Five-Year Plan

Mike Whitaker, VP of sales and business development of i3 told the News-Gazette that the upcoming expansion will serve an additional 2,500 homes. The company plans to add the same amount each year for the next five years with half in Champaign and half in Urbana.

Deciding where to expand is based on several factors, including whether or not a neighboring area already has service and the percentage of interested households. When early partner iTV-3 used pre-registration to determine where to build, they required a 50 percent sign up rate in a neighborhood prior to deployment; i3 will use a lower 35 percent threshold.

Whitaker and i3 are optimistic, "You'll start to see more significant coverage...

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Posted September 20, 2012 by lgonzalez

SandyNet, of Sandy, Oregon, recently announced that it plans to expand Internet service with fiber to every home and business in the city. The network, which has serviced the community for ten years, currently offers fiber to businesses along the Highway 26 corridor. Wireless service is available throughout town and in some rural areas around the City.

SandyNet plans to provide a range of tiers for fiber connectivity. Preliminary rates include residential fiber service of 100 Mbps for $39.95. Business service will vary from $69.95 per month to $499.95 per month for 1 Gbps. Construction is scheduled to begin spring of 2013 and the utility estimates service to be available by the end of the year in most neighborhoods.

The City will be working with i3 America, which uses city sanitary and sewer storm pipes as a makeshift conduit for fiber optic cable. i3's "FOCUS" system uses special armorerd cable designed to withstand a harsh environment and does not affect operation of clean or wastewater systems. Because this method uses existing pipes, construction costs can be up to 70% lower than traditional burying of conduit and fiber. The location of cable is much deeper in the wastewater pipes, so there will be less chances of damage due to construction or the elements.

From the press release:

The City of Sandy last year sponsored a "Why Wait for Google?" contest to gauge interest in fiber Internet service, and to select a neighborhood for a pilot program. Resients in every neighborhood expressed interest in the service , and i3 approached the city with a proposal to extend fiber to every building in the town.

Similar to the Google Fiber deployment in Kansas City, neighborhoods that show the most interest will be hooked up first. Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up now.

Joe Knapp, IT Director and General Manager of SandyNet offered some details via email:

The City of Sandy will operate the network. i3 will own it initially and the City of Sandy will pay them a rate per home connected. After 10 years the city has an option to purchase the network. 

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