Municipal broadband networks provide universal internet access regardless of income or geography and allow residents to control cost, speed, and service availability.
Fueled by an injection of federal infrastructure funding, towns across the U.S. are racing to develop viable plans to establish, improve or expand broadband service in their communities. A new online platform, developed by Sertex Broadband Solutions, allows community leaders in the Northeast to assess local interest in building municipally-owned fiber-to-the-home (FTTX) networks capable of offering affordable, universal service to residents and businesses.
The interactive SertexConnect platform engages directly with residents and business owners who enter their addresses and complete a customized broadband satisfaction and interest survey.
SertexConnect gathers respondents’ satisfaction with their current Internet service and gauges their level of interest in publicly-owned FTTX networks. Property owners from anywhere in the Northeast can access SertexConnect on any device with any internet connection.
“At Sertex, we believe that broadband is an essential utility and that all towns should have affordable, open-access fiber broadband networks controlled by the people they serve, not big telecom,” said Michael Solitro, president and CEO of Sertex. “Our company’s mission is to work in partnership with towns to design, build and operate these networks. We created SertexConnect to help communities get the information they need to start on their path to owning a fiber broadband network.”
According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, municipally-owned fiber networks are a viable and affordable way to bring high-speed, reliable broadband to all Americans, regardless of income or geographic location. Infrastructure deployment for municipal FTTX is an expensive, multi-year process that requires public support from beginning to end. To help towns start gathering interest, Sertex works with municipal leaders to define their town’s fiber interest zone; analyze deployment cost; prepare their customized survey; and create a landing page to monitor survey engagement.
Two Connecticut municipalities – Plainville and Norfolk – are the first to partner with SertexConnect. Each town has very different broadband needs.
- Plainville is a suburban community in central Connecticut with more than 7,500 households concentrated over 10 square miles. Town leaders are interested in expanding their existing fiber network that currently serves only community anchor institutions to serve the entire Plainville community.
- Norfolk is a rural community in remote northwestern Connecticut with fewer than 1,000 households spread across 45 square miles. Leaders of the town’s Broadband Advisory Committee are seeking to gauge public support for a municipally-owned network that would provide affordable, reliable, and resilient FTTX internet service to replace existing but extremely limited and expensive Internet service.
The SertexConnect platform went live in mid-September. Any person – even residents of towns not participating in SertexConnect – can register and take a survey. Sertex will outreach to town leaders to share data from non-participating communities once interest levels become significant.
To complete a broadband survey or get more information about SertexConnect, visit https://connect.sertexbroadband.com. For more information on Sertex Broadband Solutions, visit https://www.sertexbroadband.com.
ABOUT SERTEX BROADBAND
Sertex is an expert in fiber optic infrastructure deployment in the Northeast. For over three decades, the company has provided leading-edge services to telecommunication, utility, and municipal customers. The vision of Sertex Broadband Solutions is to deploy fiber-to-the-home networks in unserved and underserved areas and give gigabit-speed internet access to every home and business. Currently, Sertex is deploying an island-wide FTTX network on Block Island in partnership with the Town of New Shoreham, RI, a community-wide municipal network in Plainville, CT, and constructing last-mile fiber networks in 17 hill towns in western Massachusetts. The company’s model makes publicly owned/privately operated networks affordable and scalable with future-proof fiber technology. Learn more at http://www.sertexbroadband.com.
MARY ANN DOSTALER