Barnard is a member of ECFiber, the East Central Vermont Telecommunications District, Vermont first Communications Union District. ECFiber is owned by its 24 member towns, and is self-sustaining, as by law, local taxpayer funds cannot be used to subsidize the District’s operations.
In April 2017 the District completed a $14.5 million offering of Series 2017A Bonds to refinance the remaining original debt, cover 2017 capital expenditures, and complete the design and make ready for 250 miles of construction in 2018. As of Dec 2017, 529 miles of fiber-optic network had been built and “lit” in parts of 21 member towns, serving about 2300 customers including approximately 314 in Barnard.
ECFiber plans to continue to raise capital through the municipal bond market in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and to complete 1400 miles of network covering all underserved locations in its 24 towns by 2020. ECFiber is pleased to offer:
- Reliable high Internet speeds, which are symmetrical (the same in each direction) and are not as offered by other providers Simple, stable pricing with no contracts, fine print, or data caps. Over the last two years ECFiber has increased its speeds but not its prices.
- Local and personable customer service. Phones are answered by an employee during business hours without an automated queue.
- Local ownership and control – Governing Board members meet monthly to set policy and are actively involved in promoting ECFiber within the community.
- Valued community services. For example, ECFiber offers over 25 community anchor institutions (schools, town facilities, and libraries) its highest level of service for its lowest monthly fee.
In 2017 ECFiber continued its practice of raising speeds but not prices, by announcing that the District's tiers of service would now be set at 17/40/200/700 Mbps.
Personal note: Many thanks to the Barnard community for persevering through the many years that it has taken to get us this far and especially for the continued patience of those for whom the ECFiber 2017 build has yet to reach. ECFiber is working hard to finalize some re-design and begin some necessary re-work that is required to get to those remaining locations.
Barnard ECFiber Representatives