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Vermont School Union Goes Gig-E Thanks to Sovernet

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (February 24, 2015) - Sovernet Communications and the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union (“WSESU”) jointly announced today that the geographically-dispersed K-12 school system in southeastern Vermont has upgraded its data network to one Gig of broadband over fiber. Also called “Gig-E,” the connection delivers 1,000 Megabits of Internet bandwidth to the four village and town school districts that comprise the union.

“We’ve been part of Sovernet’s fiber network since 2013, when we immediately noticed a jump in speed and reliability that enabled us to create a wireless network to support our students’ one-to-one computers,” said Larry Dougher, Chief Information Officer at WSESU. “As the number of one-to-one devices jumped by 1,000% in just two years, our partners at Sovernet helped us to future-proof our network by seamlessly scaling us to one Gig.”

The supervisory union includes schools in more urban areas, such as downtown Windsor, and some in rural locations, including the Albert Bridge School and Hartland Elementary. School officials jumped at the chance for its schools and administrative offices to become community anchor institutions served by the state-of-the-art fiber network that was partially funded by a federal broadband stimulus grant, and more than $12 million dollars from a Sovernet investment. Sovernet will also expand the WSESU network to the central office in Windsor's downtown area later this year.

“One of the most important considerations for us was equity across the many schools under our care,” said Dougher. “It was imperative early on that all of our students be served equally by a rigorous fiber connection, regardless of whether those schools were in an urban or rural setting.”

In addition to supporting the exponential expansion of WSESU’s one-to-one computer initiative, the high-capacity bandwidth from Sovernet supports expanded use of video conferencing in the classroom and resulted in a very successful trial of the new statewide online school testing platform.

“As Vermont transitions to mandatory online student testing through Smarter Balanced Assessments, or SBAC, it’s more important than ever that each and every classroom at all of our schools is connected to high capacity bandwidth,” said WSESU’s Larry Dougher. “We recently tested the new SBAC with all of our students online at the same time and were excited about the results. We are satisfied that we are leveraging bandwidth to the highest degree possible to help each of our students to succeed.”

Gregg Noble, Sovernet’s Business Development Manager, who’s overseen the company’s 300+ anchor institutions connected to the fiber network, is equally enthusiastic about the partnership and its outcomes. “It’s the progressive customers like WSESU that continually push our team to deliver great service plans on the network,” Noble said. “Initiatives like their one-to-one program combined with a one Gig connection to the Internet are providing our children the 21st-century tools they will need to thrive in Vermont in the years to come.”

About Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union
The Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union comprises four village and town school districts in southeastern Vermont to provide learning environments for students from pre-kindergarten to grade twelve. Educating students from Windsor, West Windsor, Hartland, and Weathersfield, WSESU is committed to providing equitable 21st century learning opportunities with ubiquitous access for all students.

About Sovernet Communications
Sovernet is a leading regional provider of high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet, and voice services over its 4,500 mile fiber network in northern New England and New York. Sovernet delivers services of up to 100 Gbps to enterprise, carrier, community institution, and government customers throughout the region. Headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vermont, Sovernet also has office and data center facilities in Williston, Vermont; a subsidiary operating under the name of ION in Albany, New York; and other facilities throughout New York, Vermont, and southwest New Hampshire. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com/

CONTACT:
Sharon Combes-Farr
Director of Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802-460-9108
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Vermont State Colleges Selects Sovernet to Strengthen Data Network

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (January 26, 2015) - Sovernet Communications announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) to upgrade VSC’s redundant ISP connection, located at the Community College of Vermont (CCV) facility in Winooski. Under the terms of the two-year agreement, Sovernet provides primary Internet connectivity for CCV Winooski and backup Internet connectivity for all of the VSC system. CCV Winooski is one of more than 25 locations in the geographically diverse VSC college system.

“Having the Sovernet connection at CCV Winooski provides the security, diversity, and redundancy we need to protect vital data and ensure that we maintain Internet connectivity,” said Tom Maguire, Director of Network Services at Vermont State Colleges. “Installation was seamless.”

Last year, under a separate agreement, Sovernet began providing WAN services to 15 VSC sites throughout the state, including Lyndon State, Castleton State and Vermont Technical College campuses, and numerous CCV academic centers. The move to Sovernet’s state-of-the-art fiber network enabled a nearly ten-fold increase in connectivity speeds for the regionally dispersed VSC locations, while improving network reliability.

“We are very pleased that the Vermont State Colleges has expanded its relationship with Sovernet,” said Gregg Noble, Sovernet’s Business Development Manager, who has responsibility for community anchor customers. “We take great pride that our fiber network connects more than 130 Vermont educational institutions, including the majority of academic campuses in the VSC system.”

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.

About Sovernet Communications
Sovernet is a leading regional provider of high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet, and voice services over its 4,500 mile fiber network in northern New England and New York. Sovernet delivers services of up to 100 Gbps to enterprise, carrier, community institution, and government customers throughout the region. Headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vermont, Sovernet also has office and data center facilities in Williston, Vermont; a subsidiary operating under the name of ION in Albany, New York; and other facilities throughout New York, Vermont, and southwest New Hampshire. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com/

CONTACT:
Sharon Combes-Farr
Director of Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802-460-9108
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Dozens of Vermont libraries connect to state-of-the-art fiber-optic network

BARRE, VT (December 17, 2014) - Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, Sovernet Communications and others gathered today to announce the completion of a successful project which is providing the highest possible capacity broadband for information sharing and communications at 43 libraries across the state.

"Today's public libraries are key community and information centers," said Martha Reid, the Vermont State Librarian. "In our increasingly digital world, providing high speed broadband in libraries is an essential public resource."

Sovernet's fiber network provides these libraries with fiber broadband necessary for the support and expansion of digital services for the public, including high-speed public computing and wireless service. It enables use of high-bandwidth programs like video conferencing and video streaming. The project provides state-of-the-art network connectivity to these libraries at a cost below what such a service would have cost individually and enables the libraries to form a secure wide area network with support from the Vermont Department of Libraries.

"Local libraries with enough bandwidth to quickly transfer data, images and video are vital assets to Vermont communities," said Lt. Governor Phil Scott. "By gaining access to high-speed fiber, the tools are now there for our libraries to serve as central hubs for community meetings and disaster response centers -- while continuing to be state-of-the-art resources for Vermonters of all ages."

The Vermont FiberConnect project was funded as part of a $33.4 million federal grant awarded to the Vermont Telecommunications Authority and Bellows Falls-based Sovernet Communications. Matching funds and implementation support totaling $550,000 was provided to the Vermont Department of Libraries by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These investments in the project, along with Sovernet's own investment of $12.5 million and state appropriations of more than $2.3 million, enabled the creation of the new state-of-the-art fiber network.

"Projects like this that improve the fiber optic infrastructure in our communities are a key to delivering better services to Vermonters for decades to come." said Chris Campbell, Executive Director of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. "The Department of Libraries and the participating libraries around the state are helping to lead the way in delivering these improved services to communities large and small."

"In four years, Sovernet has constructed more than 900 miles of fiber network to deliver affordable, high capacity transport to over 300 Community Anchor Institutions, including 43 Vermont public partner libraries," said Richard Kendall, President and CEO of Sovernet Communications. "Completion of the connection to Barre's Aldrich Library is indicative of what the network enables Sovernet to do for Vermonters, other community anchors, and all businesses into the future."

Libraries currently utilizing this network include small communities such as Rupert, Reading, Guilford, Vernon and Cabot as well as population centers like Bennington, Brattleboro, Montpelier, St. Johnsbury and Rutland. More information, including a full list of the 43 libraries using the fiber network, is available here.

The federal grant was awarded in 2010 by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. It has funded Sovernet's development of fiber-optic infrastructure covering over 800 miles in southern, central, and northeastern Vermont. The network will connect more than 300 community anchor locations, including libraries.

The project leaders expressed their sincere thanks to the dedicated staff and supporters of public libraries around the state and to Gov. Peter Shumlin, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, U.S. Representative Peter Welch, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Community College of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Education, the Vermont Department of Information and Innovation, Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Law School, and the Vermont Department of Public Safety for their support and leadership in making the Vermont FiberConnect project a reality.


Sovernet Voted Rutland Region's Best Network Service Provider

BELLOWS FALLS, VT - December 8, 2014 Sovernet Communications has been voted Best Network Service Provider by the readers of the Rutland Business Journal as part of the magazine’s 2014 Best of the Best Business Readers' Choice Awards. The annual voting to determine the best businesses in 56 different categories in the Rutland area comes from survey respondents among the more than 23,000 readers of the regional magazine.

Publisher, Deborah Morse reports that "the interest and excitement behind this second annual campaign continues to grow stronger each year and we look forward to continuing for many years to come. Congratulations to Sovernet on being voted Best of the Best."

Sovernet Communications is a Bellows Falls, Vermont-based broadband internet and voice service provider that has been serving business customers in the Rutland region since 1995. The company recently completed a four-year project to build nearly 1,000 fiber-optic miles. Sovernet provides voice, internet access, and data services to a variety of businesses and institutions in Rutland, including social service and healthcare agencies, municipal and state government offices, and professional firms.

According to Sara Magro, Purchasing Agent for the City of Rutland, “The City of Rutland is committed to being extremely responsive to all members of the Rutland community, Sovernet Communications has been a key asset in enabling us to provide great service.”

The Sovernet fiber network now serves hundreds of Vermont businesses and is a leading provider of high capacity network transport, broadband internet, and voice services, including hosted PBX, throughout a 4,500 fiber mile footprint in northern New England and New York.

About Sovernet Communications
Founded in 1995, Sovernet Communications 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, 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, Vermont, with facilities in New York, Vermont and southwest New Hampshire. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com/

CONTACT:
Sharon Combes-Farr
Director of Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802-460-9108
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Sovernet Communications Announces Sharon Combes-Farr as New Director of Marketing

BELLOWS FALLS, VT- October 8, 2014 Sovernet Communications announced today the appointment of veteran telecommunications professional Sharon Combes-Farr as the company’s Director of Marketing, effective immediately. Combes-Farr is a Vermonter who brings with her more than 17 years of telecommunications, marketing and project management experience.

At Sovernet, Combes-Farr will spearhead all marketing and communications for the company, including the important roles of customer service and customer support.

“The entire Sovernet team is very pleased to welcome Sharon on board,” said Rich Kendall, Sovernet’s President & CEO. “I expect her telecommunications marketing expertise to make an immediate and significant contribution at an exciting time for Sovernet, as we have just completed four years of network expansion.”

Recent infrastructure investments have significantly expanded Sovernet’s delivery of high-speed data services up to 100 Gbps to enterprise, government and carrier customers throughout the New York and Northern New England region. Combes-Farr will be responsible for marketing and supporting Sovernet’s state-of-the-art commercial and residential products, as well as those of its New York subsidiary ION Communications.

“After spending much of my marketing career outside the state, I was very fortunate to have spent the last four years serving my fellow Vermonters by helping them to leverage broadband to improve their lives and livelihood,” said Combes-Farr. “Having gotten to know Sovernet and its management team very well over this time, I am simply thrilled to be joining this exceptional company.”

Combes-Farr comes to Sovernet after directing the 18-month federal disaster relief grant-funded Vermont Digital Economy Project, for the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Previously, she spent 11 years with Qwest Communications, in Phoenix, Arizona, where she played a key role in developing Qwest's consumer retention and customer loyalty strategy, and two years in the Vermont telecommunications industry.

About Sovernet Communications
Founded in 1995, Sovernet Communications 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, 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, Vermont, with facilities in New York, Vermont and southwest New Hampshire. For more information please visit www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com/

CONTACT:
Sharon Combes-Farr
Director of Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802-460-9108
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Landmark College and Sovernet Honored by Brattleboro Community TV

BRATTLEBORO, VT – October 2, 2014 Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV) announced today that it has selected Landmark College as Community Partner of the Year and Sovernet as Sponsor of the Year as part of its annual Producer Awards ceremony. Landmark College, in Putney, Vt., is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with learning disabilities (such as dyslexia), ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Sovernet Communications, headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vt., is a BCTV under-writer that provides BCTV broadband Internet service over its extensive Vermont fiber optic network. Both of the awards were announced at BCTV’s annual meeting on October 1.

“Landmark College has earned our Community Partner award for developing a curriculum for its broadcast journalism class that features hands-on experience at BCTV,” said Cor Trowbridge, Executive Director of Brattleboro Community Television, where students learn both on-camera and technical skills as part of the class. “BCTV and Landmark College also partner annually in turning Landmark’s inspiring, on-campus lecture series into quality programming for BCTV viewers throughout our broadcast service area.”

“Up until this year, BCTV was not able to stream our lectures live, due to inadequate Internet bandwidth speeds,“ said Todd Pykosz, Senior Network and System Administrator, Landmark College. “This all changed after we both independently connected to Sovernet’s state-of-the-art fiber network earlier this year.”

On September 4th, the two organizations put these new connections to the test by live-streaming Dr. Temple Grandin’s lecture “Different Kinds of Minds.” Dr. Grandin, the noted professor and best-selling author, is a cultural icon for neurodiversity, best known for her work in animal science and autism advocacy.

Given the great importance of Dr. Grandin’s work to Landmark’s community of students who learn differently, the majority of tickets to the lecture were set aside for Landmark students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tickets for the public were reserved in just two days. Due to the high level of public interest in the lecture, the college worked with BCTV to offer live streaming of the event on YouTube.

“After the great success of the Dr. Grandin live broadcast event, which allowed more than 400 additional people to participate in real time, we decided to give our Sponsor of the Year Award to Sovernet,” Trowbridge said. “It’s an indication of how important bandwidth is in the media world,” she added. “BCTV also relies on Sovernet’s dedicated symmetrical bandwidth for internal purposes, such as uploading to our video library and moving large files around. We used to have to upload our videos in the middle of the night, when other uses drop off.”

“This method of webcasting enables BCTV to go live from anywhere with adequate upload speeds,” Trowbridge noted. “It’s a better way to get live local programming on our channels than the outdated method we currently use. Sovernet’s service gives us the flexibility to utilize this method at anchor institutions throughout our eight-town service area.”

“Helping partners like Brattleboro Community Television and Landmark College leverage broadband to more effectively serve their viewers and students is precisely why Sovernet built this network,” said Gregg Noble, Business Development Manager at Sovernet Communications. Noble has led the company’s effort to connect Vermont’s community anchor institutions to the recently completed state-of-the-art fiber-optic network.

About Brattleboro Community Television
Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV) provides public access television services and municipal meeting coverage for the towns of Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Jamaica, Newfane, Putney, Townshend and Vernon in addition to community driven programming on Comcast Cable and Southern Vermont Cable Channels 8 and 10. For more information, please visit http://brattleborotv.org/

About Landmark College
Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today, Landmark College is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with learning disabilities (including dyslexia), ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The College offers two- and four-year degree options, a graduate-level certificate in universal design with technology integration, and summer programs for students who learn differently. Students, faculty, and professionals from around the world are drawn to Landmark College in Putney, Vermont for its innovative educational model, designed through research and practice to help all students become confident, empowered, and independently successful learners. For more information, please visit http://www.landmark.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 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 www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com/

CONTACT:

Cor Trowbridge
Executive Director
Brattleboro Community Television
802-257-0888 Office
802-579-8000 Cell
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Mark DiPietro
Director of Marketing Communications
Landmark College
802-387-1632 Office
603-313-8905 Cell
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Sharon Combes-Farr
Director of Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802-460-9108
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Hickok & Boardman Insurance Upgrades to Sovernet Fiber

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (September 23, 2014) Sovernet Communications today announced that Hickok & Boardman Insurance, one of Vermont’s oldest insurance companies and a long-term Sovernet customer, has completed the upgrade of its communications network onto Sovernet’s 100-gigabit, state-of-the-art fiber network.

Based in Burlington, Vt., Hickok & Boardman Insurance is a multi-location, full-service insurance provider with several offices in central and northern Vermont. The network upgrade was completed this week with fiber delivery to the company’s satellite office in Lyndonville.

Shannon King, Hickok & Boardman Insurance’s Technology Director and Vice President, explained the importance of the network upgrade: “Using Sovernet’s fiber network allows us to focus on zero downtime for our customers. This is critically important because we live by our slogan “Here When You Need Us!” In order for our staff to honor that commitment, 100 percent network up-time is absolutely required.”

Hickok & Boardman delivers exceptional service to its end customers by providing multiple insurance options through a variety of insurance carriers. The company’s agents rely on seamlessly capturing end customer information and then connecting to the Internet to find the best options to satisfy each customer’s unique needs in real-time. “This requires that our insurance agents be connected to the Internet 100 percent of the time,” King noted.

The new fiber connection with Sovernet also enables the company to implement a more robust disaster recovery plan, including backing-up customer and other important data in both the Burlington and Montpelier offices for redundancy and added security. “With the upgraded connection, we can push 20 times more data down to Montpelier every evening,” said King.

Sovernet Sales Director, Jay Bellows, has been working with Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group on its telecommunications needs for many years. “We are very pleased that Shannon and the rest of the Hickok & Boardman Insurance team value working with a local provider like Sovernet. We’re very proud of the responsive and flexible service that we provide.”

About Hickok & Boardman:
Founded in 1821, Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group is the oldest and one of the largest retail insurance agencies in Vermont. Offering business insurance and personal insurance in all of our offices, life insurance and other financial services are offered through Hickok & Boardman Financial Planning and Group Benefits, Inc. The agency was built, and has thrived so long, on the principle of providing superior customer service to our clients. As a locally owned agency, Hickok & Boardman knows you, your community and your business. For more information, please visit http://www.hbinsurance.com/

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, Vermont, with facilities in New York, Vermont and southwest New Hampshire. For more information please visit www.sover.net and www.i-o-n.com/

CONTACT:
Peter Stolley
VP of Sales and Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802-460-9104
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Vermont Business Magazine - Q&A with Rich Kendall

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (July 2014) Rich Kendall joined Sovernet Communications as President and CEO in February 2006. He has over 17 years of telecom experience. Prior to coming to Sovernet, he was the executive vice president of sales for Lightship Telecom in New Hampshre. For a decade prior to that he worked for Network Plus in Massachusetts, where he led a 500-person sales team spread over 18 cities. He has also held positions at MCI and Fleet Bank. He has a BA in History and Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College. Kendall keeps an apartment in Bellows Falls and commutes to his home in Massachusetts on the weekend. His children, ages 13, and 10-year-old twins, are in school there. “I work really hard,” he said. “During the week it’s all about work, but on the weekend, it’s all about my kids.”

VBM: I’d like to begin by going over some of the history of the company, how you came to work here, and then highlight some of the recent major upgrades that the company has instituted.

Kendall: Sounds great. Sovernet was founded in 1995 as the first dial-up provider in Vermont. Today we have over 11,000 customers, and there wouldn’t be any story without them, so I’d first like to thank them. Many of our current customers started with us. Some have dial-up still, but not nearly as many! In 2001 we launched our broadband product with DSL and a voice product geared for residential and very small businesses. It wasn’t really until 2006, and that’s when I came here, that we invested more heavily in the infrastructure. We launched at that point a higher end voice product, we launched PRI service up on to T1, and we invested in some gear to support that product.

Then in 2007, early 2008, we made a significant investment in the voice infrastructure. We bought an IP voice meta switch. That is a feature rich product suite built around an IP core that allowed us to be the first communication company to offer hosted PBX in the state of Vermont.

VBM: And hosted PBX means what?

Kendall: Hosted PBX replaces the traditional PBXs that used to reside at the customers’ home. The voice switch itself is a million dollar investment. It’s a very feature rich product that allows customers to use our PBX as though it were their own. It provides features like auto attendant voice mail, finding and following features, a web portal where you can manage your own business, add numbers or block numbers, you can move within your office space much easier. You’re not as dependent on the traditional telco vendors who come in and move lines and equipment for you. That was a big investment for us. We were the first ones in the state to offer a hosted PBX, which has become the mainstream voice product throughout the voice world.

In late 2008 we also invested in the Cisco infrastructure, the IP network. That was separating our core from the edge, building a redundant data network that had no single point of failure. It was just a better network with better through-put, and it really helped us move into the world of selling to much larger enterprise customers.

In 2010, we responded to the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act legislation, to win a federal grant to build fiber network that has really become what we’re focused on and what will become our future. We’ve been doing that for the past three and a half to four years.

VBM: Explain about this new fiber network. I know you’ve been bringing it to schools, libraries and so on throughout Vermont.

Kendall: The project itself is a $48 million project, with $33.3 million coming from the Federal government. We got a $2.1 million grant from the State of Vermont through the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. We got a $400,000 grant from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation. Sovernet also invested $12.5 million of its own cash.

The legislation was written in order to expand broadband coverage throughout rural parts of the state, underserved areas. The project was designed around community anchor institutions. We have built now over 340 public community anchors. They include 115 government locations, 113 schools, 40 healthcare facilities and hospitals, another 40 libraries and 33 colleges around the state.

VBM: What areas of the state does this affect?

Kendall: The network is like a big J. It starts up in St. Johnsbury, comes down to Montpelier, then cuts over to White River, comes down Route 5 through Bellows Falls and Brattleboro, then continues down to the Massachusetts border, then cuts across Route 9 and up Route 30 over to Bennington, then back up to Rutland.

We took the comprehensive nature of this network very seriously. We built to areas like Readsboro, Rupert, Windham, Weston, Newfane. We didn’t just pick the most profitable areas to build to, we went throughout the entire state where there was a need.

VBM: You started that before Tropical Storm Irene came through. How did that affect you?

Kendall: We started right about that same time. We had started applying for licenses on the poles, so it delayed us, in that many of the poles that we were going to be on got washed away. So we had to wait for the recovery and repairs of a lot of infrastructure. It gave us a slow start out of the gate, but we’ve recovered from that. We have everyone one of the anchors now built and complete. The project is winding down. We have a few mountain tops that we’re wrapping up. Had to wait for the winter thaw, but it’s moving along very nicely.

VBM: How much of Vermont is now covered by high speed Internet?

Kendall: I think the coverage has extended dramatically. Our project is a middle mile project, so our mission wasn’t to serve that last mile area, it was to bring the infrastructure to those areas and enable others to extend that last mile. I’m really the wrong person to ask for great stats on that, but I can tell you that we really aided the effort by bringing high capacity, affordable broadband to last mile providers. Duncan Cable is one in the Wilmington. They’re a partner who purchases broadband from us. We are partnering with Cloud Alliance in the Hardwick area. We work with Wavecom in the Upper Valley/White River area. Down in the Stamford area we work with Southern Vermont Broadband. So we work with partners to expand that coverage to the last mile.

VBM: Last year I did some research on high speed broadband and what it means to these schools and libraries. Perhaps you could comment on that. The difference is quite dramatic.

Kendall: We’re really proud of what we’ve been able to do. Benefits of the network are, one, bringing broadband coverage to where it didn’t previously exist, and where it did exist, we’re bringing it more affordably and with a higher capacity. A fiber-fed transport to an institution, gives you a very scalable product. It can easily go to 100 megs to over a gig with seamless transition. The capacity is excellent, much better than what we were able to do with copper in the past.

The benefits go beyond just increased broadband capacity. Distance learning in the schools is a great thing, I think. Being able to enable online learning in a more efficient way, distance learning, having multiple classrooms listening to one teacher in a classroom far away is suddenly a reality. Transferring large amounts of electronic medical records data is something that has become a reality.

Over $6 million of the projects total cost has gone right back into Vermont businesses. So the economic stimulus has been there, which was part of the purpose of the legislation. We’ve hired approximately 10% more people at Sovernet. We’ve employed over 100 contractors to help us with the project. I think broadband expansion helps businesses grow. It’s certainly been great for the state. Fiber gives you a higher capacity for transport which increases coverage for cell phones and perhaps will lower the cost. There have been a lot of benefits and we’re very proud of that.

VBM: How many employees do you have at Sovernet?

Kendall: We have about 75 employees. A great staff. Many of them have been with us over 10 years. A third. We’re approaching our 20th anniversary, and many of our employees have been here 17 or 18 years.

VBM: How many offices, and I understand you’re just opening a new one?

Kendall: Yes. We’re very excited about our new office on Pioneer Drive in Williston. We signed a 10 year lease there. And we have our office here in Bellows Falls. Approximately half our staff in each.

VBM: Bellows Falls is where you started.

Kendall: This is where we were founded.

VBM: And the original founders are out?

Kendall: Yes. In 2006 when the company was sold to new investors, the owners were the only ones that chose to leave the company. We were very excited and hopeful that all the other employees would stay, and most of them did. We were able to bring in some additional capital into a company that was already very well run, had great, loyal customers, and we were able to take it to the next level.

The thing about the communications world, is that it is a very fast moving, competitive environment. If you don’t adapt to changes, you fall behind very quickly. You won’t be able to compete. And it takes capital to recognize opportunity and to recognize where the industry is headed, and you need to invest to stay ahead and offer the best product to your customers. We’ve been able to do that. That’s why we’ve been able to stay very competitive and be very successful.

VBM: How important has this expanded fiber network been to Vermont businesses?

Kendall: Critically important. I don’t know how a business could survive today without broadband. Similarly if you have a very low capacity broadband connection it’s difficult to run a business. So absolutely what we’ve been able to do, especially in these rural areas, is once again make this available to entrepreneurs and businesses, enabling them to exist and helping them grow. There’s no question about that at all.

VBM: I’ve been making several changes in my own life as far as television, Internet and phones. I dropped satellite tv and use Internet and an antenna. I dropped my phone contract and went with one of the new, low cost options. The savings has been dramatic. My total tv and phone costs now are less than $60 a month - and still going down. That’s a third of what it used to be. Do you see this happening and how are you folks adapting to that?

Kendall: Yes. There is no question that all the investment in infrastructure in the State of Vermont has significant, meaningful impact on residential and business users. It’s hard to quantify exactly what that means in dollars, but on the grand scale, there are savings to be had. It comes down to technological advances and competition and availability of broadband and product to enable the choices for end users and better their position. Sovernet is proud to play a role in that.

VBM: What do you see over the next five years?

Kendall: We’ve made a big investment. Twelve and a half million dollars is a lot of money. But we are now winning businesses and I’m very very pleased that we chose to make the investment. Without a fiber network, we wouldn’t have been sustainable, we wouldn’t be competitive. We would have had limitations with the copper network that would have hamstrung us in a competitive environment. I’m ecstatic that we made the right decisions. I want to continue to win business. We won a large commitment from the state colleges. We’ve won 77 sites from the state of Vermont Department of Information and Innovation. Combined, those contracts are worth over $2.5 million. With that success, we will continue to try to win larger enterprise and business commitments. Beyond that, we’re always looking to make the right investments in the future. We’re always looking to make sure we have the right products for our customers, the right solutions. I’m proud to announce, and this is breaking news, Robert, that we are going to start an initiative to build a state of the art data center in our new facility in Williston. We’ll spend millions of dollars on this facility over the summer. It is going to be a facility that will hold up to 150 racks. It’s going to have redundant fiber entries into the building, both aerial and underground. We’ll have 2000 kva power supply to the building. 24/7 365 security. We’re really, really excited about this building. It’s going to be a great facility.

We’re making these investments because we feel that our customers need to have this. We’re selling to large companies that need data backup, hosted data based storage. Having a facility where they can put there backup servers and get transport to a facility where they can purchase high capacity broadband. It’s something we’re very very excited about.

VBM: What percentage of your customers are residential, and what percentage are businesses?

Kendall: Much smaller percentage of residential now. Over 11,000 customers, but probably only around 1,500 are residential. Maybe lower than that. So we’ve become much more of a business provider. Most of our investment has been around that part of the business.

VBM: Anything that we haven’t touched on that you feel should be included in this discussion? We’ve covered a lot of territory!

Kendall: Thank you, Robert. I just want to reiterate that I’m grateful and thankful for our customers. We wouldn’t have any story to tell without all of them. I want to tell them that, rest assured, we’ve made investments in the past, we’re making investment this summer in a data center, and we’ll continue to make investments in the future to insure that they have the best products, the best solutions, the best that they’ll need to run their businesses very effectively. I absolutely make that commitment to our customers.

Interview printed with the permission of Robert F. Smith, Vermont Business Magazine.


Central Vermont Community Action Council collaborates with Sovernet

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (June 17, 2014) Sovernet Communications and Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) announced today that their multi-year collaboration has grown again. With the move to Sovernet’s recently completed 100 gigabit state-of-the-art fiber network in March, CVCAC is ready to carry on its critical work to better serve Vermonters into the future.

CVCAC’s mission to assist Vermonters to achieve economic sufficiency with dignity through individual and family development, requires reliable telecommunication services. The relationship with Sovernet began in 2010 when CVCAC was in the market for a new phone system that was capable of serving more than 275 phones in nine locations; as well to upgrade its Internet and enterprise network connectivity from a sub-standard system, to a more robust and reliable system. At the time, it was clear that Sovernet’s Hosted PBX Product Suite would meet all of their growing needs, and more. And with nearly four years of service under their belt, they’ve had no reason to second guess the decision.

As plans were developed to move multiple CVCAC offices into one facility in downtown Barre, the companies worked closely to be sure the site would be within reach of Sovernet’s new 900 mile Vermont fiber optic network. CVCAC’s office at 20 Gable Place went live on Sovernet fiber in March, and its Randolph location is coming online now. Deputy Director of Operations, Sarah McMullen noted that “CVCAC’s commitment to provide critical outreach to Vermonters demands the level of service Sovernet has provided us over these past 4 years. Whether assisting in crisis situations, weatherizing homes, providing resources to businesses, and many other services, we not only need robust communication systems that we can count on, but scalable services that can grow and change as needed into the future. Sovernet’s hosted PBX and fiber broadband and their unsurpassed service have the qualities we demand.“

“CVCAC and Sovernet’s relationship illustrates the critical link between businesses and their communications partners. As CVCAC’s needs have changed through the years, Sovernet has been able to respond with the right solution, at the right time, to help support the important work CVCAC does in Vermont. We look forward to continuing the partnership for many more years to come” said Rich Kendall, Sovernet’s president.

About Central Vermont Community Action Council:
Founded in 1965, CVCAC provides comprehensive services to help people achieve economic well-being with dignity and develops partnerships to strengthen Vermont communities. CVCAC’s commitment is to alleviate the suffering caused by poverty, to work with individuals and families to move out of poverty, and to advocate for economic justice for all Vermonters. CVCAC is part of a nationwide network of community action agencies (CAA) established by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in order to fight America's War on Poverty. CAAs are a primary source of support for the more than 40 million Americans who are living in poverty in both rural and urban areas. For more information please visit www.cvcac.org

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 www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com/

CONTACT:
Peter Stolley
VP of Sales and Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802.460.9104
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Sovernet Launches High Capacity Transport to Boston

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (May 27, 2014) Sovernet Communications, Inc., a leading telecommunications provider, announced the launch of high capacity transport from Boston to Sovernet’s network in New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. The contiguous transport from the major regional interconnection Point of Presence ( POP) located at One Summer Street in Boston will provide carriers with Ethernet long haul transport capability throughout Sovernet’s expansive 4500 fiber route mile, geographically diverse footprint.

Sovernet’s Boston fiber connection enables protected, high capacity, carrier transport to all other major POP’s, including 60 Hudson Street in New York City and 1 Sundial in Manchester NH. With its upstate New York subsidiary ION, the company now has entrance facilities into more than 50 central offices and POP’s across the network.

Sovernet’s Vice President of Network Infrastructure Brandon Peyton commented, “With speeds to 100 Gbps, fully diverse network paths, cutting edge optics across our footprint, and the largest, most advanced network of its kind spanning from Buffalo to Boston, Sovernet’s carrier Ethernet services satisfy our most demanding customers, carriers and enterprise alike.” This network extension was made possible, in part, by grants from the federal BTOP program and the State of Vermont.

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, government and carrier 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 www.sovernet.com and www.i-o-n.com/

CONTACT:
Peter Stolley
VP of Sales and Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802.460.9104
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Fletcher Allen Chooses Sovernet for Transport Needs

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (April 30, 2014) Sovernet Communications announced today that Fletcher Allen Health Care has chosen Sovernet’s fiber network for its latest data transport needs. Sovernet has built a 300 megabits per second (Mbps) wide area network (WAN) connection between Fletcher Allen and its Berlin affiliate, Central Vermont Medical Center. The link is being used to securely transport medical images and data between the two entities to streamline care and reduce duplication of efforts to care for their shared patients.

Sovernet’s recently completed, state-of-the-art, 900 mile fiber network throughout Vermont will provide Fletcher Allen and Central Vermont Ethernet inter-office connectivity at the data transfer speed needed today, with the capability to scale seamlessly up to 100 gigabits per second (Gbps). “WAN connections, like the one Sovernet is providing us, benefit both our patients and partner organizations alike“ said Dan Davis, Manager of Network and Telecommunications for Fletcher Allen. “The scalability this new network provides us, along with the security we demand, and Sovernet’s reputation as a local provider who puts their customers first, helped us make this choice.”

“Fletcher Allen’s decision to use Sovernet for its latest WAN needs confirms that building a fully diverse, 100 gigabit network with cutting edge optics throughout was done correctly ” said Jay Bellows, Sovernet’s Director of Sales and Northern Facilities. “Our team has spent the last three years designing and building this network with demanding customers like Fletcher Allen in mind. We expect this relationship to grow and last for years to come.”

About Fletcher Allen Health Care:
FAHC is an academic medical center located in Burlington, Vermont. Affiliated with the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the hospital serves as both a regional referral center, providing advanced care to approximately one million people in Vermont and northern New York, and a community hospital, for approximately 160,000 residents in the Chittenden and Grand Isle Vermont counties. The hospital is committed to the development of an Integrated Delivery System which provides high-value health care to the communities it serves and enhances their academic mission.

For more information, please visit www.fletcherallen.org

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/

CONTACT:
Peter Stolley
VP of Sales and Marketing
Sovernet Communications
802.460.9104
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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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