FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2015
ECFiber announces a technological breakthrough which will dramatically improve delivery of super high speed internet to its customers in rural Vermont. With its low cost and rapid installation, it should be available to every home and business in ECFiber’s twenty-four member towns by the end of 2015 – perhaps sooner.
“An example of Vermonters getting together and making something happen,” said Irv Thomae, ECFiber’s Chair. “Vermont is unsurpassed in maple products – our knowledge is prodigious. Now we’ve taken it further.”
According to ECFiber Treasurer, John Roy, a chemical engineer by training, “We’ve known forever there are electrolytes in maple sap. And we know Vermont has thousands of miles of tubing carrying sap. But only recently has anyone put this together.”
Now, after extensive field testing, ECFiber announces SPIT (Sap Propelled Internet Technology). The breakthrough invention was the SOT (Sap Optical Transformer) which transforms optical signals into electrolytic pulses which sap delivers for miles to a customer’s premises, where it’s converted back to an optical signal. As ECFiber’s Chief Technical Officer, Corey Klink, observed, “To install a new customer, all you need is tubing and a couple of SOTs.”
Why so cheap and fast? Plastic tubing costs a fraction of glass fiber cable. Also, ECFiber recently completed an agreement with sugar makers in Vermont whereby, as soon as this year’s sugaring season is over, hundreds of them will begin running tubing throughout ECFiber’s 24 towns. “I’m amazed at their enthusiasm and creativity,” said ECFiber’s manager of outside plant Dannielle Mumma. “I’ve learned a lot from them.” Finally, there are times the tubing needs to move out of the sugar bush and on to traditional utility poles to get to customer premises. State government provided a huge assist in speeding this process by assigning SPIT regulatory authority to the Agency of Agriculture Maple Markets. “We’re committed to pushing SPIT through this summer. Vermonters deserve it,” said an Agency source who asked for anonymity pending official announcement.
Test customers found SPIT internet quality equal to conventional fiber, and they really enjoyed a new feature: micro-technology micro-wave evaporation (MME). When a spigot installed in the kitchen is opened, sap is extracted from the system and heated, water vapor is vented out of the house, and Grade A syrup flows from the spigot. “Excellent when making Vermont style baked beans,” says Lynn Roy. “Open the spigot, draw off a half cup, and voila!”
One concern was, could SPIT match fiber’s famed “future proof” technology? SPIT delivers 10 Gpbs, which is adequate for now. However, adding modern vacuum technology will, according to Gaston Grenier-Lasticocque, at le Centre de Recherche sur la Technologie d’Ėrable in Pointe-au-Pic, Quebec, “. . . get you terabytes, for sure.”
SPIT deployment will begin as soon as sugaring and mud season are over, probably mid to late June. “Fast, cheap, local, organic, gluten-free and GMO-free. You can’t beat it,” enthused Stan Williams, ECFiber’s Chief Executive.