Faster, faster, faster – Ziply plans for local fiber Internet upgrade

August 2021 Posted in Business

By Mary Owen

When Ziply Fiber acquired Frontier Communication’s Northwest assets in May of 2020, Silverton and Mill City became part of its footprint.

“At the time of the acquisition, the only internet option was DSL, and that’s something we are working hard to change,” said Dan Miller, senior vice president of Curator which handles public relations for the Washington-based Internet company. 

“We believe closing the digital divide is critical, ensuring high-speed broadband is available to our customers regardless of whether you live in highly populated urban center or a smaller rural town.”

According to Miller, the project is in the planning and design phase right now, and will quickly move into permitting and construction.

“Residents will start seeing our crews in the area in the not-too-distant future,” Miller said. “While it will take some time to complete the entire fiber build we plan to do in Mill City and Silverton, the first customers should be ready for service later this fall. We are very excited about what fiber Internet will mean for both cities.”

Silverton and Mill City are just two of the 14 new market builds in Ziply Fiber’s latest expansion. Focusing mostly on smaller and rural towns, this latest expansion is in addition to the 22 new market builds announced this spring. This brings the total number of fiber expansion markets since it acquired Frontier’s Northwest operations to 52.

The company’s entire expansion effort is part of its $500 million multi-year investment to improve its network and service in both urban and rural settings throughout its four-state service area. 

When construction is complete, Miller said Ziply will offer several different services to both residences and businesses, including both fiber Internet and phone services, as well as some specialty services for businesses. 

“The three biggest perks we offer are no long-term residential service contracts, no data caps, and no confusing pricing models,” he said. “Installation is free, and we often run special promotions like free first month of Internet service or free upgrade to Whole Home Wi-Fi with a router lease. 

“Our residential plans start at 50 Mbps for both upload and download for just $20 a month, 200 Mbps for just $40 a month, and Gig-speed, our most popular plan, at just $60 a month,” he added. “These are the speeds you need to ensure you can stream content, work from home, and conduct distance learning without fear of dropped conference calls and buffering entertainment.”

Miller said the company has always said that people shouldn’t have to live in a big city to get great Internet.

“And I think this work we’re doing now really shows how much we believe that,” he said. “High-quality, reliable, fast Internet is important for everyone, and it’s especially important for those who live and work in rural areas, many of which have not had the kind of network infrastructure in place to support the kinds of activities people regularly engage in today – video conferencing, online learning, streaming entertainment, online gaming and more.”

Miller said in areas impacted by wildfires, the choice for the company is simple: to build back with fiber like it did in Idanha and Detroit last year.

“It’s that deployment that now is allowing us to bring fiber to Mill City and Silverton,” he said. “We’re thrilled to be building out fiber in cities and towns and neighborhoods we’ve traveled and call home. Most of our leadership team grew up in the Northwest or have spent the better part of 30 years here, so we see ourselves as building a modern network for our friends and neighbors, which makes it personal to us to
get it right.”

Miller said fiber is the fastest, most reliable, highest-capacity option available. 

“For comparison, fiber is easily 20 times faster than most upload speeds from cable providers,” he said. “Fiber also can enable people to cut the cord and move to streaming TV that much easier, likely saving themselves some money in the process. We’re happy to help people who want to learn more about it to have the choice and control to choose what and how they watch shows, movies, sports and more.”

“Many of the communities we’re upgrading have never experienced anything like fiber before,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. 

With the increased demand for high-speed Internet to support online activities, entertainment and working from home, Ziply spent the last year investing and constructing a new state-of-the-art fiber-optic network, Zeitz said. 

“We’re thrilled to bring these improvements to rural and urban communities in the Northwest,” he added.

While it will take time to upgrade 250,000 square miles of land throughout Ziply Fiber’s service area with new fiber-optic cables, local hubs, new offices and new hardware to run the network, the company reported it is “capitalized for and committed to expanding fiber to cover more than 80 percent of its territory in the next three years.” 

When it began building, fiber was accessible in just over 30 percent of its area, and the company is on pace to exceed the 50 percent mark by the end of 2021, company officials say.

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