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“GigE for All” $35 per Month for GigE at Vermont Telephone Co.
Monday, 29 April 2013 13:56

Springfield, VT – 500 rural Vermont homes and farms have now been connected to the Internet at full gigabit speeds, downstream and upstream, over optical fiber, by Vermont Telephone Company (VTel).

Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com, said, “VTel is doing what Google is doing in Kansas City and Austin, but in rural Vermont – gigafication of the Internet.  It’s a tremendous win for rural America.”

VTel is “fibering” 100% of its 17,500 customers, and the company’s remarkable $35/month GigE price – with no catches or “gotchas” – has been made possible by funding from U.S. broadband stimulus awards from Rural Utilities Service and NTIA, totaling $94 million for 1,200 miles of fiber construction and network upgrades.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said, “Vermont has been ranked #1 for Internet connection speed by Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report and VTel has been among the providers helping us achieve this impressive distinction.” He added, “ VTel’s commitment to innovation and technology has enabled the company to provide high-speed Internet to rural areas of Vermont.  This is good news for VTel customers and for Vermont jobs, economic development and quality of life."

VTel CEO Dr. Michel Guité noted, “Google, a great tech company, is building its Kansas City and Austin networks with technology almost identical to VTel’s, enabling a full gigabit downstream and a full gigabit upstream.  In VTel’s fiber network, 32 Springfield homes get about 32 gigabits of bandwidth. By contrast, in Verizon’s FiOS network, 32 homes share only 2.4 gigabits. VTel offers more than ten times the capacity of Verizon’s FiOS, and is more than 100 times faster than most U.S. cable TV connections.”

No residential provider anywhere in the country has a more powerful and robust network.

The VTel GigE network services and technology include:

  • One gigabit downstream and one gigabit upstream active Ethernet, over dedicated fiber, to every home. The network core is made by Alcatel, integrated with routers from Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale, CA, and supported by Calix Networks of Petaluma, CA. Wherever possible VTel has sought to purchase US-made technology.  Almost all VTel network components have been developed in the U.S.
  • The VTel GigE backbone is powered by Alcatel with multiple 100-gigabit data cards, the fastest commercially available. VTel can deliver 100 gigabits to almost anywhere in Vermont, including to any business or home location that wants the speed, and over its four-state fiber network. This ensures that VTel can handle any conceivable peak demand, even traffic spikes such as those experienced during Hurricane Irene or 9/11.
  • VTel has its own direct 100-gigabit connections to major Internet peering points in New York City, Boston and Montreal, providing network redundancy crucial for both commercial and residential customers.
  • VTel uses Actiontec routers, which have three times the effective capacity of most gigabit routers. The Actiontec router is IPTV capable, integrating with a Mediaroom video head-end developed by Microsoft. VTel engineers discovered most standard gigabit home routers delivered much lower speeds. Despite higher router costs, VTel switched to Actiontec routers, and – consequently – VTel fiber customers are typically experiencing speeds of 925 to 950 million bits per second.

VTel field teams are adding more than 200 GigE homes per week, with the project on target to reach every location in the VTel service territory by mid-2014. VTel is also offering television (“VTelevision”), and high-definition voice telephone service over its new fiber network, as well as cloud storage and statewide 4G/LTE broadband wireless.  The company’s IPTV head-end system is being tested today for 500 channels, and VTel expects to launch IPTV services this summer. VTel will continue to offer voice with the reliability of a century old incumbent rural phone company, but with enhanced sound clarity, and improved telephone services.

VTel has a history of rural Internet innovation. The magazine Telephony in 2001 reported VTel had the highest penetration of DSL in America at 15 percent.  “We broke through 50 percent in about 2006, and our goal today is near 100 percent,” said Guité. “Our significantly upgraded GigE speeds will be offered at the same monthly fee as our existing DSL service. We’re trying to prove that a standalone high-speed rural network, with GigE to every home, high-definition voice, unlimited voice calling, 500 channels of state-of-the-art video, and 4G LTE wireless can survive in rural America. The jury is out but we’re optimistic.”

Contact: Dr. Michel Guité

Telephone: 802.885.7000

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Technology Overview of the VTel GigE Internet Service

The VTel GigE network is a “true” gigabit network. The network design matches the state-of-the-art systems Google is building in Kansas City and in Austin. Following are some technical details:

  • “True Gig” at VTel is delivered by a dedicated fiber to every home, not a shared fiber. “Point-to-point active Ethernet,” chosen by VTel, offers the highest performance of any residential network design in the world. The VTel GigE network core is comprised of elements from Alcatel, and Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale, CA, with last mile fiber-to-the-home components from Calix Networks of Petaluma, CA.
  • Most U.S. and international “gigabit” systems, including Verizon FiOS, share a single fiber among multiple users. For example the Verizon FiOS GPON shares 2.4 gigabits downstream and 1.2 gigabits upstream among 32 homes. This design worked very well for a decade, but offers an average of only 75 megabits down per home. Groups like US-Ignite are working with GigE commercial and research networks around the world to implement next-generation applications using vastly higher speeds. The VTel “true” GigE delivers 32 gigabits to 32 homes. That is more than more than ten times the total bandwidth of FiOS, and more than 100 times the speed of most cable TV companies.
  • The Actiontec router delivers 925-950 megabits around the home. Testing of common “one-gigabit” home routers disappointed VTel, when the company saw that many delivered barely a third of the speeds promised. So the company made available the Actiontec V1000H, one of the few routers able to implement true GigE at a reasonable subscriber price.
  • Alcatel 100 gigabit routers connect the VTel offices, and the company’s Internet backbone, to the Internet grid in New York, Boston and Montreal. 100 gigabit routers are only now becoming common in the high speed core of the Internet, where many connections still exist at 10 gigabits or slower. VTel can deliver 100 gigabits to virtually any business, school, library or other facility in the state, a richness of bandwidth found in few other places. The company’s robust data capacity means VTel can meet almost any demand on the VTel GigE network. VTel currently delivers Internet and data capacity to institutions such as Dartmouth College, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and McGill University.
  • VTel has multiple connections to New York, Boston and Montreal, redundantly connecting to multiple backbones. Every exchange point in New York could lose connectivity and VTel would still have enough capacity to serve its users. Within its networks, VTel’s fiber rings self-repair in less than a second.

With these world-class manufacturing partners, no residential provider anywhere in the world has a more powerful and robust network than VTel GigE in rural Vermont

Contact: Dr. Michel Guité

Telephone: 802.885.7000

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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About VTel

Headquartered in Springfield, Vermont, VTel is a small family-owned communications company serving 21 rural Vermont communities. VTel prides itself on world-class communications services, while answering customer phone calls with a friendly voice on the first ring. The VTel plain old telephone services (POTS) copper network has continuously provided telephone service to southern Vermont farms and homes since it began operations in 1890. As a part of the company’s service tradition, VTel provided the phone line that enabled Calvin Coolidge to be sworn in as United States President, at Plymouth Notch, VT, on August 3, 1923.

Today, VTel is upgrading its copper network to all-fiber, with the fastest Internet service in the country. The VTel GigE fiber optic network service will deliver billion-bit-per-second Internet to every one of the 17,500 homes and businesses within the company’s ILEC service area. The VTel fiber optic network serves as the backbone for all the company’s enhanced services with 100-gigabit speeds, including high definition voice, cloud storage, and a soon-to-be-launched IPTV product featuring more than 500 channels, as well as backhaul to the company’s wireless sites.

VTel is proudly a part of a U.S. tradition of small rural telephone companies that are also innovators. For example, VTel was first in Vermont to offer Internet services in 1994. Since 1994, VTel has invested over $100 million of its own capital to upgrade the company’s Vermont network, extend fiber to New York, Montreal and Boston, and acquire FCC wireless licenses, creating local jobs and helping build Vermont’s economy. VTel strives to offer its customers the lowest costs in Vermont, with the highest service quality. The company takes pride in public data showing it typically has the fewest complaints per 1,000 people served by any carrier in the state.

VTel also operates a 1,400-mile optical fiber network from Vermont to New York City, Cambridge, Boston and Montreal, serving some of the most intensive data users and research universities in the northeast.

In 2010, VTel became one of the largest U.S. federal government rural broadband ARRA awardees, with grants from Rural Utilities Service, National Telecommunications Information Administration, and the FCC, in addition to a 10-year agreement with Vermont’s largest public utility, Green Mountain Power, for wireless Smart Grid communications, and VTel matching funds, for a total capital investment of over $150 million.

For more information on VTel, please call 802.885.9000 or visit the company’s website at www.vermontel.com.

 

Contact: Dr. Michel Guité

Telephone: 802.885.7000

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 14:33