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Norwich University partners with Sovernet for Internet services

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (March 25, 2014) Norwich University and Sovernet Communications announced an agreement for Sovernet to provide multiple gigabit speed (1Gbps or 1000Mbps) Internet connections to the Northfield campus. Norwich has 2,300 undergraduates in attendance—including cadets, civilian residents and commuters—along with 1,200 online graduate students, 160 full-time and 60 part-time faculty members, and 600 staff. Because of its robust infrastructure, Norwich, which also supports renowned cybersecurity programs, demands the most sophisticated network capabilities. Sovernet’s construction of a fiber-optic network path through Northfield enabled the company to connect the institution.

Joseph Morvan, Norwich University’s information technology director, said the new solution “provides not only a tremendous increase in our overall network capacity, but significant redundancy to eliminate downtime and keep us operational under the worst-case scenario. Speed and reliability, those are the driving factors. This decision keeps Norwich on the leading edge, and that’s where we’re most comfortable.”

“We are very excited about Norwich joining the network,” said Gregg Noble, Sovernet’s business development manager. “This institution has had a long history of deploying progressive technologies to further its mission, and we are proud to provide high speed and high quality Internet capabilities to support it.”

Sovernet’s service connection to the University is scheduled to go online June 1.

About Norwich University:
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

About Sovernet Communications:
Founded in 1995, Sovernet is a leading regional provider of high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet and voice services throughout a 4,500-fiber-mile footprint in northern New England and New York. Sovernet and its Albany, N.Y., based subsidiary, ION, provide services up to 100 Gbps to enterprise, carrier and government customers throughout the New York and northern New England region. The company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vt., with facilities in New York, Vermont and southwest New Hampshire. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com/


Vermont DII and State Colleges Choose Sovernet Data Services

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (March 4, 2014) Sovernet Communications announced today that it has been awarded two separate contracts by the State of Vermont to provide high capacity data transport to 92 State sites. The multi-year agreements are for three and five years, respectively, with the State’s internal IT provider – the Vermont Department of Information and Innovation – and Vermont State Colleges. Collectively, the total contract value will exceed two and a half million dollars.

Sovernet will provide wide area networking (WAN) services to the Vermont Department of Information and Innovation (DII), connecting 77 State locations throughout the state. The services, delivered over Sovernet’s just completed, state-of-the-art, 900 mile fiber network, will provide Ethernet inter-office connectivity at data transfer speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, with capability to scale seamlessly up to 100 Gbps. “The security and scalability of Sovernet’s new network will meet the State’s evolving data-sharing needs” said Frank Costantino, Telecommunications Director for Vermont’s DII. “The folks at Sovernet have worked closely with our team to provide us with a professional, well organized migration to the new network.”

Additionally, Sovernet will be providing WAN services to 15 Vermont State College (VSC) sites throughout the state, including Lyndon State, Castleton State and Vermont Technical College campuses, and numerous Community College of Vermont academic centers. The Sovernet services will enable a nearly ten-fold increase in connectivity speeds for the regionally dispersed VSC locations, while improving network reliability. “Through the hard work of Lead Network Analyst Tom Maguire, Chief Information Officer Linda Hilton and many others, the Vermont State Colleges have… agreements which will ensure that bandwidth is not an obstacle to strategic initiatives at the colleges for the foreseeable future. And they’ve done it at a lower cost than current service,” said Chancellor Tim Donovan on December 12, 2013.

“The State of Vermont DII and Vermont State Colleges certainly recognized the opportunity to leverage Sovernet’s recent communications infrastructure improvements throughout Vermont to ensure efficient and reliable network performance. We are honored to be Vermont’s choice for providing this service upgrade.” said Rich Kendall, Sovernet’s CEO.

About Sovernet Communications:
Founded in 1995, Sovernet is a leading regional provider of high capacity network transport, broadband internet and voice services throughout a 4500 fiber mile footprint in northern New England and New York. Sovernet and its Albany, NY based subsidiary, ION, provide services up to 100 Gbps to enterprise, carrier and government customers throughout the New York and Northern New England region. The company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vermont with facilities in New York, Vermont and southwest New Hampshire. For more information please visit http://www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com

About Vermont Department of Information and Innovation:
The Department of Information and Innovation was created in 2003 to provide direction and oversight for all activities directly related to information technology within state government, including telecommunications services, information technology equipment, software, accessibility, and networks in state government. The CIO and Commissioner of DII has broad authority to meet the goals of the department as established by statute and policy.

About the Vermont State Colleges:
The Vermont State College system is composed of five unique institutions: the Community College of Vermont, Castleton State College, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College and the Vermont Technical College. With more than 25 locations across Vermont, the five colleges serve more than 12,000 students annually, of whom 83% are Vermonters.


Sovernet nearly finished with $48M fiber network
Sovernet Office

BELLOWS FALLS -- The scope of Sovernet's new, $48 million, fiber-optic network can be measured in the sheer number of community institutions it has reached: 115 governmental locations, 108 schools, 42 health-care facilities, 40 libraries and 32 colleges.

Those were some of the statistics mentioned Tuesday morning as Rich Kendall, chief executive officer of the Bellows Falls-based company, proclaimed that the company's efforts to spread high-speed, fiber-optic data services throughout rural Vermont are nearly finished.

"It is 99 percent complete. We have a few mountain sites that we still need to finish up," Kendall said.

Later in his presentation, Kendall summed it all up this way: "It's a great story. It's a great Vermont story, I think."

He was referring in part to the company's origins: Sovernet was founded in 1995 as a provider of dial-up Internet access.

"We've come a long way since dial-up, obviously," Kendall said.

The company's evolution intersected several years ago with the availability of federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) -- otherwise known as the stimulus.

Sovernet landed $33.2 million in federal funding to build an 800-mile fiber-optic network. With U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., visiting on Tuesday, Kendall made it clear that stimulus funding made the fiber project possible.

"We were at the point where we needed to build fiber to be competitive and sustainable, and the ARRA legislation couldn't have come at a better time for us," he said.

Later in the day, Welch said Sovernet's work is a testament to the stimulus program's success.

"Infrastructure investment is essential to our economic growth," Welch said during an interview at the Reformer.

But the fiber project was not strictly federally funded. Other support has included $2.1 million from Vermont Telecommunications Authority and $12.2 million of Sovernet's own money, Kendall said.

Of the project's total price tag, about $6 million "has gone directly into Vermont businesses" assisting with construction of the fiber-optic line, Kendall said.

"In terms of the economic stimulus of the project, it's truly been there," he said. "The money is going back into the state. We've hired six or seven new, direct employees, plus the contractors we've employed."

Of course, there also is the value of the line itself. Locally, for example, administrators at the Brattleboro town office, Brooks Memorial Library and Brattleboro Community Television headquarters have praised the speed of the new Internet connection.

Kendall said the network has enabled distance learning in schools and can enhance the use of electronic records in health-care facilities.

Welch visit
Rep. Peter Welch visits Sovernet Communications in Bellows Falls on Jan. 21. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)

"The state needed this," he said. "The legislation was to extend affordable broadband to rural areas. We took that very seriously. We built a comprehensive network."

"They are using it. They do want it," Kendall added. "And (the demand) has really helped us bring these services to the state."

Aside from some concern about the cost of extending fiber-optic line across railroad rights of way -- a matter Welch said he would "be interested in learning more about" -- Kendall said the project has gone relatively smoothly.

"We've had really great success in the construction component," Kendall said. "There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in building a network of this size so quickly."

He also had praise for Sovernet's customer base and the company's 75 employees, including 28 who have been with Sovernet for more than a decade.

"We're pretty proud of what we're doing," Kendall said.

Article written by Mike Faher. Mike Faher can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 802.254.5311 ext 275.

 


112 Vermont Schools Choose Sovernet’s Fiber

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (December 18, 2013) 112 Vermont schools are getting big technological boosts as the installation of Sovernet Communication’s new state-of-the-art 100Gbps fiber optic network is completed. Students and teachers at public and private K-12 anchor schools around the State are enjoying the many benefits of the advanced, high-speed network.

All five schools in the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union have signed onto the project. “We never would have been able to afford this on our own,” said Larry Dougher, the Chief Information Officer for the district. “When Sovernet first approached us about this, I personally went to speak to the school board about the advantages this project would bring to the students. When you get an opportunity like this you have to grab it with both hands and take advantage of it.”

Sovernet’s Sales Director Jay Bellows said that being able to offer schools connections to the next-generation fiber network, especially those with limited, expensive access to date, has been rewarding. “Schools have been quick to see the advantages, whether new online and distance learning opportunities, an Internet 2 connection to UVM, or increased bandwidth at more affordable prices,” Bellows said. “The WAN flexibility the network provides to outside educational resources in Vermont is tremendous.”

Matt Martin, the head of Information Technology in the Windham Central Supervisory Union, which includes eight schools, has been impressed. “It’s been very reliable,” Martin said. “In all respects the network is outperforming all our expectations. Teachers no longer have to wait or have a backup plan if lessons didn’t download as expected.” Martin said that Sovernet has “been great to work with,” and noted that there is a long term added bonus to this project. “Because the schools brought fiber optics into town, fiber will also be available for homes and businesses. This is great for long term economic and community development in Vermont.”

The fiber optic network has been built in partnership with the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), and will be owned and operated by Sovernet. The three-year project has been funded by a combination of public and private capital, including a $33.4 million grant from the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, a $2 million grant from the State of Vermont via the VTA, and over $12 million of private capital committed by Sovernet.

About Sovernet Communications: Founded in 1995, Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunication services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vermont with facilities throughout Vermont and southwest New Hampshire. Sovernet is in the final stages of constructing a 900 mile fiber optic network in Vermont, with funding through the federal BTOP program, and the State of Vermont, that will provide fiber-based services to over 340 Vermont community institutions such as public libraries, public safety agencies, municipalities, State of Vermont offices, K-12 and post-secondary schools and healthcare institutions. With additional fiber miles, beyond the BTOP project, Sovernet’s new network will span more than 1400 miles, and will interconnect with several other new adjoining regional “middle-mile” fiber networks, including the New Hampshire FastRoads network, MassBroadband 123 and the ION network in upstate New York. ION, an Albany NY-based subsidiary of Sovernet, operates a 3,000 mile fiber transport network in New York State, and is also nearing completion of a BTOP-funded fiber network. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com.

 

 


Cooperative Effort Brings Sovernet Fiber to Vermont Libraries

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (November 12, 2013) The advent of the digital age at one time raised concerns about the future of local libraries, but resilient community libraries have welcomed digital technology with open arms. Many Vermont libraries are taking a huge step forward in 2013 as community learning centers as they turn up data services on Sovernet Communication’s new state-of-the-art fiber optic network. The network, being completed this year, has been built in partnership with the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) and National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), and will be owned and operated by Sovernet.

“This took a lot of work and a lot of time,” said State Librarian Martha Reid, head of the Vermont Department of Libraries. “We had a statewide conference where we met with local librarians to get them on board. We now have 43 libraries signed on. And from the reports we’re getting, library users noted right away a tremendous improvement in speed and bandwidth.”

The three-year project is being funded by a combination of public and private capital, including a $33.4 million grant from the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, a $2 million grant from the State of Vermont via the VTA, a $400,000 library-specific grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and over $12 million of private capital committed by Sovernet. By the end of the year, when the project wraps up, Sovernet will have helped provide fiber access to libraries around the state, from some of the Vermont’s largest in Rutland, Bennington, Montpelier and Brattleboro, to smaller facilities in Wardsboro, Rupert, Westminster West and Weston.

“With respect to libraries, this project is bringing what were historically our community education centers, into the modern age,” said Gregg Noble, Sovernet’s Business Development Manager. “There are a number of things that can be done with this technology that just simply couldn’t be done before. It’s an enormous boost to the usefulness of our community libraries.”

The availability of fiber optic quality Internet access has increased usage at the libraries. Librarian Carol Scott of the Fair Haven Free Library said they have not had time to fully focus on getting the word out, “But we still have a lot more people coming to the library to use the Internet now,” she said. “People come in and download movies and they say the computers are lightning fast. We are definitely seeing an increase in use. People are talking about it and the word is getting around.”

Gail Woll, the Librarian at the Dorset Village Library, said when she came to the area 13 years ago, her library didn’t even have one computer, and the village didn’t get cell phone service until a little over a year ago. “Now we’re telling people to come to the library, because we have this fabulous Internet access,” Woll said. “We’re going to be offering classes to help people learn how they can use this to advantage, downloading videos, e-books and the like.”

Reid agreed that getting more people to realize that so many libraries now have fiber optic Internet access is vital. “We really, really want to get the word out,” she said, “that free public access to computers and streaming quality Internet is critical. Our libraries are where a lot of people come to use computers to find jobs, to improve their education, and to research and access reliable healthcare information. We are active community partners with Vermont Health Connect during the Affordable Health Care enrollment period. This can be life-changing for people. We are thrilled to have it.”

About Sovernet Communications: Founded in 1995, Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunication services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vermont with facilities throughout Vermont and southwest New Hampshire. Sovernet is in the final stages of constructing a 900 mile fiber optic network in Vermont, with funding through the federal BTOP program, and the State of Vermont, that will provide fiber-based services to over 340 Vermont community institutions such as public libraries, public safety agencies, municipalities, State of Vermont offices, K-12 and post-secondary schools and healthcare institutions. With additional fiber miles, beyond the BTOP project, Sovernet’s new network will span more than 1400 miles, and will interconnect with several other new adjoining regional “middle-mile” fiber networks, including the New Hampshire FastRoads network, MassBroadband 123 and the ION network in upstate New York. ION, an Albany NY-based subsidiary of Sovernet, operates a 3,000 mile fiber transport network in New York State, and is also nearing completion of a BTOP-funded fiber network. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com.

 

 


Sovernet Fiber Lighting Up the Town

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (October 23, 2013) Windham County-based Sovernet Communications announced today that multiple public institutions in Brattleboro, including the municipal offices, are now utilizing Sovernet’s high-capacity, highly reliable data services, with more locations coming soon. Eleven Brattleboro schools, three municipal facilities, Brooks Memorial Library, three healthcare facilities, Brattleboro Community Television, and eight State of Vermont sites in Brattleboro are included in the project, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. The new communications infrastructure will allow the institutions to take full advantage of the state-of-the-art fiber optic network that Sovernet is in the process of completing in partnership with the Vermont Telecommunications Authority and National Telecommunications & Information Administration.

Sovernet has now built over 850 miles of fiber throughout Vermont, which will serve over 340 community anchor institutions such as K-12 schools, colleges, public libraries, healthcare providers, government offices and public safety communications. Sovernet’s middle-mile fiber project is improving broadband availability throughout its footprint. An improvement that, along with providing needed affordable access to its many anchors, will invite the expansion of broadband services offered to residential users and enhance economic development throughout the region.

“Robust telecommunications infrastructure such as has been offered by Sovernet, supports the development of the economy and increases our capacity for cultural participation beyond the usual limits imposed by our geography,” said Brattleboro’s interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland. “This project will no doubt add value to our existing community institutions and create an environment conducive to the generation of economic growth throughout the 21st century. We are delighted that a tangible asset of this quality is available to enrich the business environment in downtown Brattleboro.”

Cor Trowbridge, the Executive Director of Brattleboro Community Television praised the project, "With Sovernet's fiber upload speeds, BCTV can stream in full HD, making it possible to share live high-quality video of local events from locations on the network. This is a new and exciting way for BCTV to help community members share views and information about local issues throughout southern Windham County."

“Brooks Memorial Library, with its daily demands of 19 public access computers and as many as 24 simultaneous wireless users, needs fiber to satisfy customer demand,” added Jerry Carbone, the library’s director. “In addition, as the library produces content such as live lectures, workshops, discussions, we will be able to distribute this widely in real time using our Google videoconferencing grant equipment, or partnering with our local community TV station. We would not be able to do this without Sovernet’s fiber and the speeds it allows.”

“We are very pleased that the Town of Brattleboro, Brattleboro Community Television, Brooks Memorial Library are among the dozens of Brattleboro community anchors that have chosen Sovernet to be their communications provider”, said Richard Kendall, Sovernet’s CEO. “We appreciate the abundant support we have received from all our community anchors, and are working very hard to deliver an exceptional customer experience for each and every one of them.”

In addition to serving community anchors, the new Sovernet network will provide wholesale data transport services to Internet service providers, telecom and cellular companies, as well as a full range of offerings for enterprise businesses. With the completion of the new network at hand, Sovernet has begun building laterals to businesses and carriers interested in the expanded services.

About Sovernet Communications: Founded in 1995, Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunication services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vermont with facilities throughout Vermont and southwest New Hampshire. Sovernet is in the final stages of constructing a 900 mile fiber optic network in Vermont, with funding through the federal BTOP program, and the State of Vermont, that will provide fiber-based services to over 340 Vermont community institutions such as public libraries, public safety agencies, municipalities, State of Vermont offices, K-12 and post-secondary schools and healthcare institutions. With additional fiber miles, beyond the BTOP project, Sovernet’s new network will span more than 1400 miles, and will interconnect with several other new adjoining regional “middle-mile” fiber networks, including the New Hampshire FastRoads network, MassBroadband 123 and the ION network in upstate New York. ION, an Albany NY-based subsidiary of Sovernet, operates a 3,000 mile fiber transport network in New York State, and is also nearing completion of a BTOP-funded fiber network. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com.

 

 


New Hampshire FastRoads and Sovernet Communications to Deliver Fiber-based Services to New Hampshire Communities

BELLOWS FALLS, VT & KEENE, NH (June 25, 2013) Sovernet Communications (“Sovernet”) and Keene, New Hampshire FastRoads (“FASTROADS”) today finalized a Network Access Agreement bringing a well-established service provider in to the New Hampshire FastRoads project and placing Sovernet in a position to further expand its fiber service offerings across the border into the State of New Hampshire . The Agreements will allow Sovernet to utilize FASTROADS’ new fiber-optic communications network to provide Internet access and data transport services at speeds as high as 1 Gigabits per second to the 237 community anchor within the footprint of the FASTROADS project in Cheshire, Sullivan, and Grafton counties of New Hampshire. Sovernet is currently delivering fiber based services at similar speeds in Vermont.

FASTROADS is currently in the final stages of building 247 miles of new fiber optics across 34 New Hampshire communities and is part of Network New Hampshire Now, a consortium of public institutions led by the University of New Hampshire that received a combined $44.5 million NTIA grant to bring internet connectivity to all ten counties in New Hampshire. The organizers of FASTROADS have chosen to operate the network on a wholesale open access model, not offering retail service directly to customers, but rather providing network access to broadband service providers. NH FastRoads is the only project with “last mile” connections of fiber directly to the premises of both residences and businesses. Fiber optic technology offers unsurpassed speed and quality of service with the ability to deliver internet broadband, clear voice over IP telephone service, video conferencing and high definition digital programming.

The Network Access Agreement between FASTROADS and Sovernet is the first such agreement for FASTROADS, ensuring its capability to deliver the advanced services for which the network has been designed, and dramatically expanding Sovernet’s reach and service availability within the twin state region. The interconnection between the Vermont and New Hampshire projects provide both networks greater redundancy and offers multi-location businesses on both sides of the Connecticut River, a single source provider of affordable gigabit speed services.

Sovernet CEO Rich Kendall commented, “This strategic partnership with New Hampshire FastRoads is a natural extension of Sovernet’s long-established presence in the Upper Valley, southeastern Vermont and southwestern New Hampshire. We are eager to work with the FASTROADS’ team, and their community anchor institutions, through this strong combination of a superior fiber network and Sovernet’s full voice and data product suite. Together, we will provision the most reliable telecommunication services available in the industry today.”

FASTROADS Executive Director Carole Monroe comments, “Bringing on the network’s first provider is a large step forward. We expect with the cooperation between our two organizations, that the FASTROADS anchor sites will not only be connected in the near future, but have a quality suite of voice and data service to choose from.”

Jack Dugan, President of Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, Keene, NH added, “Successful economic development relies on a network of fiber capable of providing true, ubiquitous broadband for the residents and businesses of the Monadnock Region. After years of work to achieve this goal, FastRoads is partnering with the best service providers, such as Sovernet, to deliver on the promise of fast, affordable, and reliable access we need to reach the world from our homes and work. Partnering ensures the availability of both speed and quality of internet services that will facilitate economic growth and create new jobs in a knowledge based economy."

Sovernet will be arranging appointments with the New Hampshire partner community anchor institutions sites to confirm the suite of services they wish to purchase. Questions or interest may be directed to Gregg Noble at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 802.460.9139.

About FASTROADS: FASTROADS is a collaboration of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, the 34 towns of the Monadnock region and WCNH.net (the eight towns of the Upper Valley–Lake Sunapee region). The FASTROADS network is a component of the University System of New Hampshire’s “Network New Hampshire Now” project, which was awarded federal grant funding through the federal Recovery Act Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program administered by the U.S Department of Commerce. The FASTROADS network will provide fiber-based broadband services to homes in Rindge and Enfield, New Hampshire, Over 237 community anchor institutions in southwest New Hampshire. FASTROADS will offer wholesale access to broadband service providers such as Sovernet. FASTROADS goal is to ensure that the region’s businesses, institutions and residents have the right infrastructure to support jobs and sustainable economic development. For more information please visit www.newhampshirefastroads.net.

About Sovernet Communications: Founded in 1995, Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunication services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vermont with facilities throughout Vermont and southwest New Hampshire Sovernet is in the final stages of constructing a 900 mile fiber optic network in Vermont, with funding through the federal BTOP program, and the State of Vermont, that will provide fiber-based services to over 340 Vermont community institutions such as public libraries, public safety agencies, municipalities, State of Vermont offices, K-12 and post-secondary schools and healthcare institutions. ION, an Albany NY-based subsidiary of Sovernet, operates a 3,000 mile fiber transport network in New York State, and is also nearing completion of a BTOP-funded fiber network. . Sovernet Communications has provided alternative telecom and data services to the incumbent provider within New Hampshire on a statewide basis over the past 5 years. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com and www.vermontfiberconnect.com.

 

 


Vermont FiberConnect Connects Green Mountain College

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (February 11, 2013) Sovernet Fiber Corp. and the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) announced today that the Vermont FiberConnect (VFC) project continues to improve broadband in Vermont’s rural areas with its most recent completion of fiber service to Green Mountain College in Poultney. The new infrastructure will double the previous capacity that the college was able to obtain through the incumbent carriers in the area, allowing the small but prestigious school the opportunity to compete at the same level with much larger colleges and universities in New England’s metro areas.

“With increased participation in our online education programs and the continual need for more bandwidth for the educational needs of students, faculty and staff on campus, this upgrade is of vital importance to the success of Green Mountain College,” said GMC President Paul Fonteyn. “In conjunction with our IT department and other partners, Sovernet’s Vermont FiberConnect Program is helping us keep our competitive edge in information technology.”

Sovernet, in collaboration with the VTA and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) under its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) has spent the last two years designing and building a new fiber infrastructure to meet critical bandwidth needs of many of the schools, libraries, businesses and organizations in Vermont. Sovernet’s President, Rich Kendall added, “We are excited to partner with Green Mountain College and assist in the improvement of their communications infrastructure. With over two years worth of planning, permitting and engineering, it is rewarding to see the cable being installed on the poles so quickly now. We look forward to completing many more connections to anchor customers, like Green Mountain College, over the next several months”.

Christopher Campbell, Executive Director of the VTA commented, “Schools and businesses in rural Vermont need access to technology just as much as urban areas do. Vermont is building the infrastructure it needs and this project is an example of how it’s coming to fruition. Sovernet’s fiber connection to Green Mountain College is the first of many yet to come.”

About Vermont FiberConnect: Vermont FiberConnect is an 812 mile fiber optic network under development by Sovernet Fiber Corp, an affiliate of Vermont-based Sovernet Communications. The network will connect over 340 community anchor institutions such as K-12 schools, colleges, public libraries, healthcare providers, government offices and public safety communications in southern, central, and northeastern Vermont, encompassing seven of Vermont’s fourteen counties. Vermont FiberConnect is also designed to provide wholesale data transport services to broadband and telecommunications service providers such as Internet service providers, telecom companies and cellular companies. The network will interconnect with several new adjoining regional “middle-mile” fiber networks, including Network New Hampshire Now, MassBroadband 123 and the ION network in upstate New York.

The project has been funded by a combination of public and private capital, including a $33.4 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), a $ 2 million grant from the State of Vermont via Vermont Telecommunication Authority, a $400,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and over $12 million of private capital committed by Sovernet. The VTA is the recipient of and conduit for the federal, state and foundation grants. Sovernet Fiber Corp. will build, own, operate and provide services over the Vermont FiberConnect network.

NTIA funding of the project, through its BTOP “Comprehensive Community Infrastructure” program, is intended to help ensure sustainable community growth, and to provide the foundation for enhanced household and business broadband Internet services by deploying new or improved broadband Internet facilities and connecting “community anchor institutions.” For further information, please visit www.vermontfiberconnect.com.

About Green Mountain College: Green Mountain College was founded in 1834 by the Troy Conference of the United Methodist Church. Throughout its history, strong teacher-student relationships have been the hallmark of a GMC education, a tradition that continues today. At the heart of the College’s environmental mission is the 37-credit Environmental Liberal Arts General Education Program, which all GMC students complete. ELA combines the skills and content of a strong liberal arts course of study with a focus on the environment.

About Vermont Telecommunications Authority: The Vermont Telecommunications Authority was established by the Vermont General Assembly in Act 79, and passed into law in June 2007. Act 79 established the organization to facilitate the expansion of broadband internet access and mobile cell service for residents and businesses. The authority is focused on a continuing goal of finding solutions for unserved and underserved areas throughout the state.

About Sovernet Communications: Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunications services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The Vermont company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, with facilities in Burlington, Winooski and Keene, NH. Sovernet is committed to delivering advanced communications services along with superior customer care and total customer satisfaction, while actively supporting its local communities. For more information, please visit www.sovernet.com.

CONTACTS:
Caro Thompson
Director of Broadband Outreach and Coordination
Vermont Telecommunications Authority
802.828.3224
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Peter Stolley
VP of Sales and Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802.460.9104
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Sovernet Fiber Corp Selects Ciena’s Packet Networking and 100G Solutions for Statewide Network Deployment

New Ethernet and 100G transport network will deliver high-speed, high-capacity communications services to Community Anchors and business customers throughout Vermont

HANOVER, MD – (October 3, 2012) Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ: CIEN), the network specialist, in partnership with LightRiver Technologies, an integrator of next generation transport solutions for mission-critical networks, today announced that Sovernet Fiber Corp will deploy Ciena’s packet networking and Packet-Optical Transport technology throughout its fiber network. This deployment will support Sovernet’s new statewide network featuring advanced Ethernet service delivery and 100G capacity that will provide new broadband data and voice services, as well as carrier services, including transit, high-capacity transport, cellular backhaul, waves and Internet connectivity.

Key facts:

  • Founded in 1995, Sovernet provides reliable Internet, data, and telecommunication services to customers throughout Northern New England.
  • Ciena’s 5150 Service Aggregation Switch, 3930 and 3931 Service Delivery Switches will connect to the 6500 Packet Optical Platform featuring WaveLogic™ coherent optical technology with subtending G.8032 rings to provide increased network scalability and programmability. Collectively, these solutions will provide Sovernet with an OPn network architecture and a common, consistent way to deliver a full range of Ethernet services – including legacy and fast-growing packet services – while significantly accelerating and automating service creation and activation.
  • Ciena is also providing Sovernet with its OneControl Unified Management System, and a range of professional services for this deployment via its Ciena Specialist Services portfolio, including ongoing testing and support.
  • Sovernet expects overall network deployment to be finalized by June 2013.
  • LightRiver, a Ciena Diamond Bizconnect partner for the past three years, provided a turnkey network, project management and technical resources.
  • Sovernet is the sub-recipient of a $33.4 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The grant, along with additional funding, has allowed Sovernet to develop an 800 mile middle mile fiber optic network connecting businesses and over 340 community anchor institutions, including schools, libraries, public safety towers, and State owned buildings.

Executive Comments:

  • “In order to address our customers’ increasing demands for bandwidth, we needed a technology partner that could deliver a reliable, scalable and efficient solution, with the ability to install quickly. After weighing our options, Ciena was the obvious choice – its solutions are proven, and the company’s ability to understand our network needs today, and how best to meet future requirements, all while keeping our costs in check, are unsurpassed.”
         -Brandon Peyton, Director of Operations at Sovernet
     
  • “We knew that our packet networking portfolio– recognized as reducing deployment and service activation times by 75% – would be an attractive option to Sovernet given that they had less than a year to deploy a state-of-the-art transport network. Once deployed completely, Sovernet will have the most advanced 100G technology available with a comprehensive solution ready for increasing customer demand. This deployment showcases our ability to deliver a complete solution that allows our customers to quickly build an advanced, intelligent infrastructure that provides greater network efficiency, resiliency and service differentiation.”
         -­Chad Whalen, Vice President and General Manager, North America Field Operations at Ciena

Technology Leadership:

  • A key aspect of Ciena’s OPn architecture and used by more than 150 carriers, wireless service providers and cable operators worldwide, Ciena’s packet solutions improve service agility by concentrating complexities onto fewer platforms, better utilizes the right network element and technology for the job, economically supports higher densities and increases overall network capacity, and enables faster transition from declining legacy services to growing packet services.
  • Ciena is the pioneer and market leader of coherent optical technology with greater than 16,000 coherent 40G/100G line interfaces shipped to over 100 customers across the globe, with more than 15 million coherent kilometers deployed.
  • Designed for network modernization, Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform converges comprehensive Ethernet, TDM, and WDM capabilities into one platform for cost-effective delivery of emerging and existing services—from the access edge to the backbone core. 6500 systems also support directionless and colorless ROADM functionality, which combine with OTN/packet switching to maximize the bandwidth efficiency and flexibility of the overall network.
  • Ciena's WaveLogic coherent optical processors enable operators to maximize the reach, capacity and flexibility of networks by enabling seamless upgrades to 40G/100G and beyond. Using innovative coherent receiver, high-speed analog to digital, and custom digital signal processing technology that integrates intelligence into the equipment, Ciena’s technology offers ease-of-deployment, cost efficiency and network investment protection.

Supporting Resources:

About Sovernet: Sovernet is a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. (ATN), providing reliable Internet and telecommunications services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. With its affiliate ION Holdco, the companies provide wholesale high-capacity transport services throughout New York and Vermont. The Vermont company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, with facilities in Burlington, Winooski and Keene, NH. Sovernet is committed to delivering advanced communications services along with superior customer care and total customer satisfaction, while actively supporting its local communities. For more information, please visit www.sovernet.com.

About LightRiver: LightRiver Technologies brings next generation solutions to mission-critical networks. An integrator of multi-vendor transport technologies, LightRiver is an expert in Packet Optical Transport, MPLS, Carrier Ethernet, DWDM and ROADM, as well as Multiservice SONET and Microwave Radio. LightRiver delivers unique value with turnkey solutions, carrier-grade quality and unparalleled customer care. For more information, please visit www.lightriver.com.

About Ciena: Ciena is the network specialist. We collaborate with customers worldwide to unlock the strategic potential of their networks and fundamentally change the way they perform and compete. Ciena leverages its deep expertise in packet and optical networking and distributed software automation to deliver solutions in alignment with OPn, its approach for building open next-generation networks. We enable a high-scale, programmable infrastructure that can be controlled and adapted by network-level applications, and provide open interfaces to coordinate computing, storage and network resources in a unified, virtualized environment. We routinely post recent news, financial results and other important announcements and information about Ciena on our website. For more information, visit www.ciena.com.

Note to Ciena Investors Forward-looking statements. This press release contains certain forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof; and Ciena's actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied, due to risks and uncertainties associated with its business, which include the risk factors disclosed in its Report on Form 10-Q, which Ciena filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 5, 2012. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Ciena's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future and can be identified by forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "should," "will," and "would" or similar words. Ciena assumes no obligation to update the information included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Press contact:
Jamie Moody
Ciena Corporation
(214) 995-8035
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Investor contact:
Gregg Lampf
Ciena Corporation
(410) 694–5700
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Vermont FiberConnect project hits milestone

BELLOWS FALLS, VT – (July 19, 2012) Sovernet Fiber Corp. and the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) announced today that the Vermont FiberConnect (VFC) project has recently completed constructing the first 100 miles of fiber optic network. This important milestone comes as the project heads into its final year, with completion of the 821 mile network scheduled for June 30, 2013.

The project will connect over 340 community anchor institutions, including State owned buildings, public safety towers, public and private K-12 schools, public libraries and colleges. Currently Sovernet has over half of the anchors under contract, including 41 libraries and 51 K-12 public schools.

Governor Shumlin praised the milestone noting the State’s financial role in the project, “The investment of $2 million of state capital played a part in leveraging this federally funded collaborative project between Sovernet and the VTA. Connecting Vermont communities with high bandwidth - our schools, libraries, businesses and neighbors - is our highest priority and this is how we get it done. We’re celebrating this milestone and look forward to mile 821.”

After two years of planning and engineering the network, issuing RFPs for construction and electronics, applying for permits and pole attachments on more than 23,000 poles, and working through tropical storm delays – the project has moved into the exciting phase with construction crews on the roads hanging fiber. Sovernet will begin turning up customers on the new network before the end of the year. “We are excited that the extensive planning and hard work over the last two years is translating into tangible progress now visible in our communities. Our fiber construction project is moving as quickly as possible toward a successful completion and the lasting telecommunications infrastructure improvements it will bring for the State of Vermont,” says Sovernet CEO Rich Kendall.

Christopher Campbell, Executive Director of the VTA, added, “Vermont FiberConnect is an example of our commitment to bringing tremendous bandwidth capacity deeply into the hills and valleys of Vermont’s communities. We are excited to have the project into the phase where the fiber is going up on poles at a significant rate every week.”

Dan French is Superintendent of the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union, where all schools but one will participate in VFC. He sums up the benefits of the FiberConnect project this way: “This network offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these districts to have access to abundant bandwidth. Beyond the benefits of enabling local and wide area networks for the schools, Vermont FiberConnect offers potential access to Internet2 and global resources that students could utilize to prepare for the 21st century workforce. It also supports the wider economic and social goals of the State of Vermont.”

About Vermont FiberConnect: Vermont FiberConnect is an 812 mile fiber optic network under development by Sovernet Fiber Corp, an affiliate of Vermont-based Sovernet Communications.

The network will connect over 340 community anchor institutions such as K-12 schools, colleges, public libraries, healthcare providers, government offices and public safety communications in southern, central, and northeastern Vermont, encompassing seven of Vermont’s fourteen counties. Vermont FiberConnect is also designed to provide wholesale data transport services to broadband and telecommunications service providers such as Internet service providers, telecom companies and cellular companies. The network will interconnect with several new adjoining regional “middle-mile” fiber networks, including Network New Hampshire Now, MassBroadband 123 and the ION network in upstate New York.

The project has been funded by a combination of public and private capital, including a $33.4 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), a $ 2 million grant from the State of Vermont via Vermont Telecommunication Authority, a $400,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and over $12 million of private capital committed by Sovernet. The VTA is the recipient of and conduit for the federal, state and foundation grants. Sovernet Fiber Corp. will build, own, operate and provide services over the Vermont FiberConnect network.

NTIA funding of the project, through its BTOP “Comprehensive Community Infrastructure” program, is intended to help ensure sustainable community growth, and to provide the foundation for enhanced household and business broadband Internet services by deploying new or improved broadband Internet facilities and connecting “community anchor institutions.” For further information, please visit www.vermontfiberconnect.com.

About Vermont Telecommunications Authority: The Vermont Telecommunications Authority was established by the Vermont General Assembly in Act 79, passed into law in June 2007. Act 79 established a Vermont Telecommunications Authority to facilitate the establishment and delivery of mobile phone and internet access infrastructure and services for residents and businesses throughout Vermont. The authority is focused on unserved and underserved areas and an overall long term goal of broadband and mobile phone infrastructure throughout the state.

About Sovernet Communications: Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunications services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The Vermont company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, with facilities in Burlington, Winooski and Keene, NH. Sovernet is committed to delivering advanced communications services along with superior customer care and total customer satisfaction, while actively supporting its local communities. For more information, please visit www.sovernet.com.

For more information, contact:
Deb Shannon
Director of Broadband Outreach and Coordination
Vermont Telecommunications Authority
(802) 828-3224

For more information, contact:
Peter Stolley
VP of Sales and Marketing
Sovernet Communications
(802) 460-9104

 

 


Education Networks of America (ENA) & Sovernet Combine Efforts to Deliver Fiber-Based Communication Services to Vermont Schools

New Agreement Part of VT Department of Education Initiative to Provide Better, More Cost-Effective Connectivity and Other Technology Resources to Vermont Schools and Students

BELLOWS FALLS, VT – (December 13, 2011) Education Networks of America (ENA) and Sovernet Communications reported today that they have finalized an agreement to provide broadband Internet connectivity services to schools in southern, central and northeastern Vermont. The agreement allows ENA, which was recently awarded a statewide contract by the Vermont Department of Education to provide managed connectivity and communication services to Vermont’s public and private K–12 schools, to use Sovernet’s local fiber assets to help deliver the next generation of connectivity and communication services to public and private K-12 schools included in the Vermont FiberConnect project. The ENA-Sovernet agreement leverages each organization’s strengths to offer improved quality and value to potentially over 100 Vermont schools that ENA and Sovernet may jointly serve.

Earlier this year ENA was selected by the Vermont Department of Education to offer managed connectivity and communication services to Vermont K-12 schools. ENA is an experienced, education-focused managed service provider that will provide a ubiquitous statewide education network with a high level of quality support services. On behalf of all the state’s K–12 schools, the department had issued a request for proposal (RFP) for these services in an effort to increase affordable bandwidth availability across the state through group purchase pricing, as well as to maximize E-Rate program funding for these services. The federal E-Rate program provides subsidized discounts to school and libraries for the purchase of Internet access, communication and networking services, resources which are essential to both instruction and operations in today’s learning environments. Participation in the program is voluntary and not required by the state.

The Vermont FiberConnect project, a 773-mile fiber-optic network across seven of Vermont’s counties, is a public-private partnership between Sovernet Communications and the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA). Vermont FiberConnect is funded by a $33.4-million federal Broadband Technology Opportunities (BTOP) grant and over $12 million from Sovernet, with additional funds coming from the State of Vermont and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation via the Vermont Department of Libraries.

ENA has agreed to exclusively utilize Sovernet’s wholesale fiber-based connectivity services to offer a broader array of E-Rate eligible services to schools that were included in the Vermont FiberConnect project. By purchasing services through ENA, schools will have access to ENA’s extensive selection of network and communications services—including IP voice and video teleconferencing, content filtering, enterprise-grade e-mail platform, e-mail archiving and more—as well as ENA’s specialized expertise in serving schools, while enjoying the benefits of a state-of-the-art, fiber-based network from a local company.

“We are delighted to serve Vermont’s schools,” says David M. Pierce, president and CEO of ENA. “As a managed service provider with extensive experience successfully serving K–12 customers on a district-wide and statewide scale, ENA is uniquely positioned to make the most of existing and future infrastructure investments in Vermont. Sovernet is the kind of connectivity provider ENA looks for. The strength of our two organizations means great things for Vermont’s schools: an entire suite of powerful managed network solutions, conveyed via a first-rate modern network infrastructure, delivered right to students and educators.” Sovernet CEO Rich Kendall commented, “We are excited to announce this ENA-Sovernet agreement and believe that the joint marketing effort will facilitate interactive learning applications across Vermont that will quickly lead to overall advancements in education.”

About ENA: ENA provides managed network and communication services to customers in the education, library and government sectors. Their scalable solutions facilitate collaboration, increase productivity and decrease the cost of information management through the convergence of data, voice and video technologies. ENA currently manages multiple statewide and district-wide education and library networks in Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont, successfully serving 5,345 end sites, 580 school districts, 240 libraries more than 3.1 million students, teachers, administrators and staff and more than 6.6 million librarians and patrons. Empowered by their networks and network partners, ENA’s customers can focus on what matters most: preparing students, strengthening communities and leading enterprises into the 21st century. For more information please visit www.ena.com.

About Sovernet: Founded in 1995, Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunication services to residential, business and institutional customers throughout Northern New England. The company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, VT, with facilities in Winooski and Burlington. Sovernet is the sole sub-recipient of the $33.4M Federal BTOP award issued to the Vermont Telecommunications Authority in July 2010. For more information, please visit www.sovernet.com & www.vermontfiberconnect.com.

ENA

For more information, contact:
Merle Gruesser
Education Networks of America Communications
(802) 552-4296
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Sovernet

For more information, contact:
Gregg Noble
Sovernet
(802) 460-9139
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Sovernet Raises over $36,000 to Support the Vermont Foodbank after Irene

BELLOWS FALLS, VT – (October 25, 2011) Sovernet Communications, a long supporter of the Vermont Foodbank, announced that it has raised $36,500 to support the Foodbank in helping Vermonters recovering from the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Sovernet collected donations from its customers and friends as part of its annual support for the Foodbank, matching contributions dollar for dollar to double the donation.

Shortly after Sovernet’s annual contribution drive for the Vermont Foodbank began, Tropical Storm Irene landed squarely on Vermont and made the everyday needs of the Foodbank even more immediate. Sovernet’s customers, always generous, dug deeper this year, with donations coming in from as far away as the UK. Over the past 5 years, Sovernet and its customers have supported the Foodbank with donations exceeding $95,000.

“This year the needs served by the Vermont Foodbank are greater than ever, especially after the damaging flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene. We can always count on Sovernet to support the Vermont Foodbank and our work of ensuring that everyone in Vermont has enough to eat, but this year they have outdone themselves,” according to Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles.

“In these challenging times when many of our own staff, customers and neighbors have been dealing with the aftermath of flooding caused by Irene, it is wonderful to see such great support for the Vermont Foodbank,” said Sovernet CEO Rich Kendall.

About The Vermont Foodbank: Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving communities in all 14 counties of Vermont through a network of more than 280 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs. In FY2011, the Vermont Foodbank distributed more than 8 million pounds of food to as many as 86,000 Vermonters. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. To learn more about hunger in your community and to take action against hunger and poverty in Vermont, visit us on the web at www.vtfoodbank.org.

About Sovernet Communications: Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunications services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The Vermont company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, with facilities in Burlington, Winooski and Keene, NH. Sovernet is committed to delivering advanced communications services along with superior customer care and total customer satisfaction, while actively supporting its local communities. For more information, please visit www.sovernet.com.

 

 


Sovernet Fiber Project Gets Green Light for Construction

BELLOWS FALLS, VT — (June 2, 2011) The Vermont FiberConnect project recently cleared a significant environmental review, when the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) regarding the environmental impact of the project clearing a regulatory hurdle that allows construction to begin.

Sovernet Fiber Corp., in collaboration with the Vermont Telecommunications Authority – the recipient of the NTIA grant – completed an environmental assessment that is required for all federally-funded broadband projects. The environmental assessment entailed technical reviews by, and consultations with, numerous state, federal and tribal organizations responsible for stewardship of natural and cultural resources such as state historic preservation offices, state departments of environmental conservation and the National Forest Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service. The NTIA reviewed the environmental assessment work done by Sovernet Fiber Corp. and issued the FONSI after announcing the $33 million grant last summer in support of the Vermont FiberConnect project.

Since the NTIA grant to Sovernet Fiber Corp. stipulates a required completion date of July 1, 2013, Sovernet has been as doing as much network planning and design as possible in advance of getting the green light to start construction. According to Sovernet’s Director of Operations, Brandon Peyton, “Over the past several months, Sovernet has been planning its fiber network build-out. We have also been jointly surveying utility poles with the pole owners to plan the work necessary to make each pole ready to attach Sovernet’s fiber-optic cables. To date, Sovernet has submitted applications to survey over 6,000 utility poles, with additional survey requests being submitted each week. All this work has been done so that we could be ready to begin our fiber network’s construction phase as soon as we received our FONSI designation.”

Immediately following issuance of the FONSI, Sovernet authorized pole owners CVPS, Green Mountain Power and FairPoint to start make-ready work in Barre-Montpelier and White River Junction and other communities. According to Peyton, “Additional make-ready requests will follow in close succession. In coming months, Sovernet will issue RFP’s for fiber construction, fiber cable and electronics.”

According to Rich Kendall, Sovernet’s CEO, the project budget for pole make-ready work alone exceeds $5 million, much of which the utilities will pay to their field crews and contractors. “The investment of both public and Sovernet capital in Vermont FiberConnect will provide the economic stimulus that Congress intended. This project also ensures the economic vitality of Vermont as the network will provide long-lasting value to the state with an essential upgrade in broadband and telecommunications infrastructure.”

About Sovernet Communications: Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunications services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The Vermont company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, with facilities in Burlington, Winooski and Keene, NH. Sovernet is committed to delivering advanced communications services along with superior customer care and total customer satisfaction, while actively supporting its local communities. For more information, please visit www.sovernet.com.

About Vermont FiberConnect: Vermont FiberConnect is 770 mile fiber optic network under development by Sovernet Fiber Corp, an affiliate of Vermont-based Sovernet Communications.

The network will connect over 340 community anchor institutions such as K-12 schools, colleges, public libraries, healthcare providers, government offices and public safety communications in southern, central, and northeastern Vermont, encompassing seven of Vermont’s fourteen counties. Vermont FiberConnect is also designed to provide wholesale data transport services to broadband and telecommunications service providers such as Internet service providers, telecom companies and cellular companies. The network will interconnect with several new adjoining regional “middle-mile” fiber networks, including Network New Hampshire Now, MassBroadband 123 and the ION network in upstate New York.

The project has been funded by a combination of public and private capital, including a $33.4 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), a $2 million grant from the State of Vermont via Vermont Telecommunication Authority, a $400,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and over $12 million of private capital committed by Sovernet. The VTA is the recipient of and conduit for the federal, state and foundation grants. Sovernet Fiber Corp. will build, own, operate and provide services over the Vermont FiberConnect network.

NTIA funding of the project, through its BTOP “Comprehensive Community Infrastructure” program, is intended to help ensure sustainable community growth, and to provide the foundation for enhanced household and business broadband Internet services by deploying new or improved broadband Internet facilities and connecting “community anchor institutions.” For further information, please visit www.vermontfiberconnect.com.

 

 


Sovernet Communications Staffs Up for Vermont FiberConnect Project

BELLOWS FALLS, VT — (April 14, 2011) Sovernet Communications announced today that it has added five (5) new staff members to support construction and deployment of its new middle-mile fiber optic project known as Vermont FiberConnect. The new positions have been added across a number of functions at Sovernet including Project Management, Engineering, Accounting, Business Development and Marketing.

Sovernet is building and will operate and market services over Vermont FiberConnect under a public-private partnership with the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA). The project has received $35.4 million in grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), the VTA, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Vermont Department of Libraries. Sovernet will also invest over $12 million of its own funds in the project.

To bring the Vermont FiberConnect project online, Sovernet’s team is expanding by adding the following members. Fiber Project Manager Izzy Flores brings over eight years of experience gained as a Project Leader and Network Specialist with Fairpoint and Verizon. Phil Ingersoll will handle project accounting as Staff Accountant after filling similar roles for several local and regional construction and hospitality companies. Gregg Noble first joined Sovernet in 2001 and went on to co-found one of New England’s largest wireless Internet Service Providers during his five year absence from the company; Gregg has returned to the company as Business Development Manager, serving as Sovernet’s principal contact with community institutions served by the project. Michael Middleton, who has held marketing roles for telecom service providers and equipment manufacturers such as Singapore Telecom and Cisco in Silicon Valley, will serve as Marketing Manager. Walter Siciliano, who recently worked with Global Network Access Points, joins Sovernet as Network Engineer and will coordinate the installation and deployment of network optics and related gear. Additional staff will also be added and announced in the near future.

“Sovernet is pleased to be able to create these jobs here in Windham County and we look forward to bringing the additional benefits of the Vermont FiberConnect project to the state as we move ahead with our aggressive construction schedule over the next twenty four months.” said Sovernet CEO Rich Kendall.

About Sovernet Communications: Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunications services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The Vermont company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, with facilities in Burlington, Winooski and Keene, NH. Sovernet is committed to delivering advanced communications services along with superior customer care and total customer satisfaction, while actively supporting its local communities. For more information, please visit www.sovernet.com.

About Vermont FiberConnect: Vermont FiberConnect is a public-private partnership between the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) and Sovernet Communications to construct a 773 mile fiber optic middle-mile network through seven counties of Vermont. Vermont FiberConnect, which Sovernet will build, own, operate and maintain, will provide last-mile service providers the ability to offer affordable, high-speed broadband Internet and wireless services to underserved areas of rural Vermont. The project will also serve over 340 community anchor institutions such as K-12 schools, libraries, health care facilities, state offices and public safety locations with affordable high speed connectivity. For further information, please visit www.vermontfiberconnect.com.

 

 


Sovernet Communication’s Fourth Annual Harvest Festival raises over $15,000 to Support the Vermont Foodbank

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (September 17, 2010) — Sovernet's 4th Annual Harvest Festival & 5k Fun Run raised over $15,000 for the benefit of the Vermont Foodbank. Sovernet was again able to raise awareness and support for the Vermont Foodbank with its successful event, support that matters now more than ever during these difficult times.

“This year, the Vermont Foodbank will distribute nearly 8 million pounds of food to Vermonters in need,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “With partners like Sovernet Communications, the work of ensuring hunger-free communities becomes a reality. Sovernet is a leader in the fight against hunger and we are grateful for their dedication to the Foodbank’s mission.”

This years’ event was held in conjunction with the Bellows Falls Farmers Market and there were activities for young and old alike including a 5k family fun run, a goat race, a zumba class and a jump rope exhibition. Activities also included a Body Weight Challenge with Ripples Fitness Center. The Foodbank chef made smoothies for all with fruit and vegetables provided by the Farmers’ Market. Music at the event was provided by the Red Fox Session Band.

Rich Kendall, Sovernet's CEO said “We are proud to support the Vermont Foodbank and all the important work that they do to fight hunger in our communities. We also thank our generous donors and sponsors who support this worthy cause in our community and continue to make this annual event a success.”

Sovernet’s event sponsors included Boccelli’s Restaurant, Peoples United Bank, Ripples Fitness Center, Info Directions, Adtran, the Brattleboro Retreat Farm and Paul Harlow who all supported the event and made a strong commitment to the Vermont Foodbank.

 

 


Sovernet Communications Opens Sales and Field Support Office in Keene, NH

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (July 21, 2010) — Sovernet Communications, a leading provider of telecommunication services in Northern New England, announced the opening of a new sales office in Keene, NH. The office, located at 160 Emerald Street, will be staffed by Account Managers serving Sovernet’s growing Southwestern New Hampshire customer base.

“As part of our continuing commitment to the Keene market, this new satellite office will make it easier for our local sales, service and support personnel to respond to the needs of area businesses. It also provides us with a facility in which to demonstrate our latest services, such as our Hosted PBX Product Suite,” says Rich Kendall, Sovernet’s President. Additionally, in the past months Sovernet has made an infrastructure investment in the Keene market, upgrading its next-gen Adtran gear to enable delivery of the latest service advancements including symmetric, enterprise-level broadband at DS3 speeds, for a fraction of typical DS3 cost.

 

 


Vermont Telecommunications Authority, Sovernet Communications and Supporting Partners Receive Federal Stimulus Funds to Bring Broadband Connectivity to Vermont Communities 

MONTPELIER, VT. (July 2, 2010) — The Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) and Sovernet Communications reported today that their public-private partnership, Vermont FiberConnect, will receive a $33.3 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The grant will allow Sovernet to develop, own, maintain, and operate a 773 mile fiber-optic middle mile network in southern, central, and northeastern Vermont. The project will connect over 340 community anchor institutions in the project area, including State owned buildings, public safety towers and all public and private K-12 schools, public libraries and colleges that elect to participate in the project.

Sovernet Communications, a leading communications provider in Vermont, is the sole sub-recipient of the grant, through its Sovernet Fiber Corporation subsidiary, and will coordinate with the NTIA through the VTA. Governor Jim Douglas and the Vermont legislature established the VTA in 2007 to find solutions to expand broadband and cellular service across the state and specifically reaching the underserved areas of the state.

This award represents significant support and partnership from the following: State of Vermont office of the CIO, Dept. of Education and supervisory unions, Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Law School, Department of Public Safety, Department of Libraries (with funding partnership from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), and the New England Telehealth Consortium.

"This network will provide major support for the VTA's efforts to expand broadband and cellular service throughout unserved areas of Vermont," said VTA Executive Director Christopher Campbell. "It also breaks new ground by promising to offer these community institutions tremendously abundant bandwidth at rates they can afford."

Rich Kendall, Sovernet's CEO added, "Sovernet is proud and excited to make a tangible commitment, in partnership with the VTA, State of Vermont, and the NTIA, with this construction of a state-of-the-art network that will enable expansion of affordable broadband in rural areas. The project will offer substantial long term benefits to the people of Vermont, including greater job opportunity, stronger schools, better healthcare and increased public safety."

David Tucker, State of Vermont CIO added, "This funding will benefit the citizens of Vermont not only by opening the door for a broader adoption of broadband, but will further enable the State of Vermont to make government services more readily available to our citizens electronically."

Peter Drescher, the Education Technology Coordinator for the Vermont Department of Education added, "The award of this grant brings the Department of Education one step closer to meeting its goal of affordable broadband availability for 100% of the public and private schools throughout the State."

Martha Reid, State Librarian at the Vermont Department of Libraries, agreed saying, "We are thrilled with this award and look forward to working with the public libraries in these communities as they develop and expand 21st century technology services to support the needs of local citizens for information, cultural enrichment, global connection and life-long learning. Our vision is to have fiber optic connectivity in all Vermont public libraries and this is a great start."

In addition to the grant, Sovernet will invest over $11 million in the project, building a fiber-optic middle mile network, providing data transport services up to 1Gbps to community anchor institutions, government agencies, and last mile providers throughout the project area. Additionally the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute a grant award of $400,000 to this project to build public library connections, as well as $150,000 to support on-going broadband service in libraries. Transport services will be available to the anchor institutions at lower prices and with greater bandwidth than is commonly available in these communities, ensuring that Vermont's technological capabilities are on par with the rest of the country.

 

 


Sovernet Annouces Network and Equipment Upgrades

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (March 8, 2010) — Sovernet Communications, a leading provider of telecommunications services in Northern New England, announced several network infrastructure and equipment upgrades designed to better serve their customers.  The changes will enhance both reliability and operational efficiencies, as well as bring new next-generation services to additional markets.

 "As part of our continuing commitment to add functionality, redundancy, and capacity to our network, we are pleased to announce the addition of Barre, Middlebury, and Stowe to our fiber network, with speeds to OC 48.  In addition, our Essex Junction facility has been upgraded to a fully redundant OC 192 node, to meet the capacity needs of our growing customer base," says Rich Kendall, Sovernet's President.  Additionally, Sovernet has also made an infrustructure investment in the Rutland market, with the deployment of next-gen Adtran gear, enabling delivery of the latest service advancements including symmetric, enterprise level, broadband at DS3 speeds, for a fraction of typical DS3 cost.

 


Sovernet Acquires Power Shift's DSL Services

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (February 23, 2010) — In a joint statement, Sovernet Communications of Bellows Falls, Vermont and Power Shift of Stowe, Vermont, announced that Sovernet is acquiring the broadband services division of Power Shift.

The move promises to deliver seamless Internet access to Power Shift customers.   Current Power Shift DSL customers will not see service interruptions and Power Shift customer service will continue to provide support throughout the transition.

"We are excited to welcome Power Shift's broadband customers and look forward to building long term relationships with our neighbors in the Stowe, Morrisville and Hardwick areas," notes Richard Kendall, President of Sovernet Communications.  "This acquisition furthers our commitment and investment into the expansion of both our voice and data services throughout Northern New England."

Sovernet's immediate plans include extending its fiber network into Stowe using new, next generation equipment.  The network upgrade will allow them to offer higher speed broadband and voice services to Stowe customers.

"Sovernet is a Vermont company that has the staff, network, and commitment to serve Power Shift DSL customers well," adds Joe Allen, President of Power Shift.  "They have a great reputation for reliabililty and superb customer service.  I expect a very smooth transition.  We at Power Shift can now put all of our energy into our Web hosting, design and development services."

 


Sovernet's Walk raises over $16,000 for the Foodbanks!

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (October 20, 2009) — Sovernet's recent 3rd Annual Harvest Walk raised $16,440 for the Vermont and New Hampshire Foodbanks.  Surpassing their goal by more than 50%, Sovernet attributes this year's success to tremendous support for the event, as well as to an increased awareness of the foodbank's mission in challenging times.

Three years ago Sovernet and its employees made a commitment to make a difference in the fight against hunger in the communities.  With support from many areas, this year's event continued what has quickly become a growing yearly tradition.  Individuals and local businesses gave generously, with the Bellows Falls Rotary taking the prize for top business contributor.  Sovernet's customers were extremely supportive through donations sent in with their invoices.  The Sovernet staff bolstered the event through donations of both their time and money and Sovernet itself continued its tradition of matching the first $5,000 of funds raised.  Several business sponsors helped maximize the final donation made to the Foodbanks, with top sponsorship honors going to Boccelli's on the Canal who generously donated over $1,000 to this year's Sovernet Harvest Walk. 

Other sponsorship support was received from the Vermont Country Store, Vermont T's, Chittenden Bank, The Village of Bellows Falls, MetaSwitch, Paetec, and Infodirections.  Allen Brothers provided the fruits and vegetables for the event, the Main Street Arts band provided the entertainment, Waste Management handled all the trash and recycling,  and the top fundraiser prizes were donated by the Harpoon Brewery and the Green Mountain Flyer. 

Rich Kendall, Sovernet's CEO said "We are proud to support the important work that the Vermont and New Hampshire Foodbanks do to fight hunger in our communities and are pleased that this annual event continues to grow each year.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this fundraiser a success and we look forward to seeing you again next year."

 

 


Gardener's Supply Teams Up with Sovernet for its Telecom Needs

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (October 6, 2009) — Gardener's supply and Sovernet Communications are pleased to announce the signing of a multi-year, multi-location agreement for telecommuncation services. 

"We are excited to team up with Sovernet, another local company, for all of our telecom needs.  Sovernet brought us a creative solution that not only meets our telephone and data needs today, but has the flexibility to meet them well into the future," said Jim Feinson, President, Gardener's Supply. 

Jay Bellows, Director of Sales for Sovernet Communications said "We are pleased to be able to provide Gardener's Supply the services their business and customers demand, and look forward to working closely together in the upcoming years.  Gardener's choice of Sovernet's new Hosted PBX Suite for their disaster recovery needs reaffirms our continued commitment to the development and expansion of our product offerings in Vermont and northern New England."    


Sovernet Communications Adds Bill Kowalczyk to its Executive Team

 BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (April 15, 2009) — Sovernet Communications, Northern New England's locally operated provider of telecommunications services, is pleased to announce Bill Kowalczyk as its new Director of Finance.

Mr. Kowalczyk comes to Sovernet with over twenty years of successful financial and operations management, including ten years with telecommunications companies: Maine Cellular, Prexar Internet, and Utilities, Inc.  Bill has led the development of strategic plans and implemented financial and operational systems in a number of companies.  Most recently he was CFO for an international seafood wholesaler in Connecticut.  Bill has a BA in Accounting from Northeastern University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

At Sovernet, Mr. Kowalczyk will oversee the staff accounting and monthly financial preparation functions for Sovernet and its subsidiary ION, as well as purchasing and capital budget planning for the company.

 



Sovernet Teams up with Adtran for Additional Next Generation Capabilities

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (September 15, 2008) – Sovernet, a leading provider of telecommunications services in Northern New England, further enhances its Nextgen capability by announcing the deployment of 4 new ADTRAN 5000's to Keene NH, Burlington VT, Brattleboro VT, and Winooski, VT. 

“By adding Adtrans to these target areas, we’re able to offer our residential and business customers higher bandwidths at extremely competitive rates”, says Stu Livolsi, Sovernet’s Director of Engineering. “This new technology allows us to support legacy applications as well as cutting edge solutions for high bandwidth users, all in the same unit.” 

The ADTRAN Total Access 5000 is a carrier class multi-service access and aggregation platform that bridges the gap between existing and the next-generation networks. Its highly scalable, all Ethernet architecture allows Sovernet to deploy multiple voice and data services, while optimizing a converged network architecture capable of meeting growing bandwidth requirements. Sovernet will begin offering Single-Pair High-speed Digital Subscriber Line (SHDSL) in the upcoming weeks, capable of speeds from 5 to 40 Mbit/s.


Sovernet adds Winooski VT to its OC 192 SONET Network

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (August 26, 2008) – Sovernet, a leading provider of telecommunications services in Northern New England, announces the extension of Winooski, VT to their Redundant OC 192 SONET Network.

“As part of our continuing next-generation network strategy, we want to evolve our network to one that maximizes service opportunities, reduces overall costs and quickly adapts to changing customer requirements,” says Brandon Peyton, Sovernet’s Director of Operations. “The flexibility of the SONET Network enables us to deliver a mix of services from a variety of locations to quickly support our customers without changing the network.”

Three years ago, Huawei and Sovernet teamed up to implement an all-new SONET Network. This addition further enhanced the reliability of Sovernet’s local, long distance, and Internet services, plus added new service capabilities such as Gigabit Ethernet.

The Huawei OptiX Metro SONET product family provides a common platform to provide rich Ethernet and traditional TDM services with line rates from OC3 through OC192. The OptiX Metro solutions are among the most compact in the industry, and can offer a variety of services from a single shelf.



Sovernet Communications Acquires Majority Interest in Albany, NY-based ION
 
BELLOWS FALLS, VT (August 14, 2008) --- Sovernet Communications, a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-Network (ATNI-NASDAQ), is pleased to announce it has acquired a majority interest in Albany, NY-based ION, a provider of high capacity communications network transport services, in partnership with twelve rural telephone companies in up-state New York.

ION's network, comprised of 2,200 miles of redundant SONET fiber-optic facilities, connects over 60 rural New York State communities such as Prattsburgh, Margaretville and Champlain to major communications hubs in Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and New York City.

ION was founded on the vision and investment of the affiliates of the Independent Telephone Companies that have been supporting customers in rural upstate New York for over 1,000 years collectively and will continue to hold a significant minority interest in the business.

Rich Kendall, Sovernet's President and CEO stated that "This investment fits nicely into our core strategy of delivering high quality network services to the traditionally underserved rural areas. We are very excited to be expanding into this new market with ION's staff and its loyal customers."

"ION's staff and founders are very pleased to become partners with Sovernet and Atlantic Tele-Network. We believe their expertise, operational support, and financial backing will enhance ION's capabilities to offer reliable, advanced communications services to carriers and institutions that do business in rural New York state." says Jim Becker, ION's Chief Executive Officer.  



Sovernet Communications and WebRyders Announce Customer Acquisition

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (August 11, 2008) — Sovernet Communications and WebRyders announced today, Sovernet's acquisition of all dial-up and email customers of Keene, NH based internet provider, WebRyders, Inc.   

Richard Kendall, President of Sovernet Communications commented, “We are excited to welcome WebRyders' customers to our network and look forward to building on the long term relationships already well established. “This acquisition continues our commitment to investment and expansion within New Hampshire for both our voice and data services.” 

Brad Ryder, President of WebRyders, said "Sovernet is a local company and can easily integrate WebRyders dialup customers. They have a great reputation for reliability, as well as the best customer service I’ve ever seen. Our DSL customers who were migrated to Sovernet last fall can already attest to that."


Sovernet Communications Adds Lawrence Lackey to its Executive Team

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (April 8, 2008) — Sovernet Communications, Northern New England's locally operated provider of telecommunications services, is pleased to announce Lawrence Lackey as its new Director of Regulatory Affairs.

Mr. Lackey comes to Sovernet with over 16 years with the Vermont state of agencies responsible for oversight of telecommunications companies. He served for three years as a hearing officer for the Vermont Public Service Board, and thirteen years at the Vermont Department of Public Service, including as Director for Telecommunications.  In addition, since June 2005, Lawrence has advised a number of clients on financial, technical, regulatory and public policy issues relating to telecommunications services.  Among those engagements, he advised the Vermont Legislature as it drafted Act 79, which created the Vermont Telecommunications Authority and set a goal of statewide access to high-speed Internet services by 2010. Lawrence holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bates College in Maine and a Master’s degree from the University of Vermont. 

At Sovernet, Mr. Lackey will be responsible for assuring Sovernet’s compliance with state and federal regulations applicable to telecommunications companies, acting as a liaison with regulatory commissions, and managing Sovernet’s human resources functions.


Sovernet Communications Partners with MetaSwitch to Provide Enhanced Telecommunications Services

BELLOWS FALLS, VT, April 2, 2008 — Sovernet Communications today announced it has selected MetaSwitch as its primary telephone switch vendor, furthering its commitment to offering advanced and reliable telephone service to the residents and businesses of Northern New England. Sovernet has deployed a MetaSwitch VP3510 integrated softswitch in its fully redundant Burlington, Vt. data center.

“We continue with the commitment we have made to reinvest in our network infrastructure to better serve our customers. This partnership with MetaSwitch will create new products and features for our client base while also enhancing reliability and operational efficiencies”, says Rich Kendall, President of Sovernet Communications.  

The new investment creates a multitude of additional features and benefits for Sovernet’s customers, including dynamic bandwidth allocation, unified messaging, fax server, auto attendant, conference calling and hosted business voice over IP services.  The new switch will initially serve customers in Vermont and New Hampshire with additional expansion planned beyond Sovernet’s existing markets.


 

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