Rich Brown

The LymeFiber project reached an important milestone today when ValleyNet, the non-profit who will build and operate our network, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP, shown below) for construction of the network. This document will be distributed to companies and trade organizations in the fiber-optic field. It specifies all the technical and legal details of the project. Responses to the RFP are due next month. A committee of LymeFiber and ValleyNet experts will review the responses and select a builder.

Companies are being asked for proposals to build a network that consists of about 57 miles of fiber-optic cable throughout the town as well as drops – the connections from the utility poles to the house or business – for over 300 subscribers who signed up for service.

And as always, if you haven’t filled out our no-obligation signup form, click Sign Up Now! at the top of this page.

LymeFiber_Construction_RFP_Final

Can’t open the PDF above? Use this link to download it: https://www.lymefiber.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/LymeFiber_Construction_RFP_Final.pdf

Lyme’s own Steve Campbell and ValleyNet’s Carole Monroe were quoted in Saturday’s article about LymeFiber in the Concord Monitor. (The article also appeared on page A2 of Valley News for November 4.) You can read it at: https://www.concordmonitor.com/lyme-nh-fiber-home-internet-29874661

As a reminder, LymeFiber still accepting no-obligation signups. Go to LymeFiber.net, click Sign Up Now. We’ll get back to you for details about connections as we get closer to providing service in Summer 2020.

Measuring height of wires above road bed

As of early September, all applications to attach wires to the utility poles in Lyme have been submitted – a total of 1,941 poles. The utility companies are doing their make-ready survey work in teams composed of a contractor from the ValleyNet office, the telephone company, and the electric company. The photo above shows one of the team members measuring the height of the wires. The lowest point must be 18 feet above the roadbed.

In addition, LymeFiber is conducting the pole-to-house survey work mentioned in the postcards we sent out last month. You may see our two contractors, Bob Driscoll and Bill Gragen, going around town. They both have IDs, vests and LymeFiber magnets on the vehicles. They will want to see how to connect to the outside of your house, but will not need to come inside. 

Steve Campbell sent this note to the Lyme listserv…


Friends, 

The LymeFiber project is moving right along, even if you don’t see our trucks on your road yet (but see below). Here is your August 2019 update. 

The big news is that all the “make-ready” agreements have been signed with the utilities who have wires on the town’s utility poles. Make-ready is the process of moving existing wires on the poles so there’s space for our fiber cables. Having all these agreements in place is a major milestone for any project like ours. You may see utility employees checking out the poles to see what they need to do. 

ValleyNet, the non-profit that built and operates ECFiber in Vermont and will build and operate LymeFiber, has issued a contract for the job of designing our network. This means figuring out exactly how the fiber cables will be strung through the town, where the hubs are, and where the branch points are. The final design is expected next month. 

So far we have more than 250 people who have completed our no-obligation signup form. That represents a substantial proportion of the premises in town and provides important data for the network design. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can still visit www.LymeFiber.net and add your home or business to the growing list. 

Finally, we are about to start the next important stage of the project: visiting each premise in town, whether they’ve signed up for service or not, to see how we would get the fiber cable from the utility pole on the road to the house or business (in the trade these are called “drops”). Is it a simple one-hop run from the pole to the building? Are there intermediate poles between the road and the building? Is there buried conduit? And so forth. Knowing all this means that if and when an installer comes by to connect the service, they’ll know exactly what they’ll be dealing with. The people doing this survey will have LymeFiber identification. Getting this information does not require going into the buildings, but it might mean walking around the yard. To make sure this is OK with the property owners, in the next few days we will be sending postcards to everyone in town announcing the survey and giving them the chance to opt-out if they don’t want the surveyors on their property. Look for those postcards soon. 

Thanks for supporting LymeFiber. As always, if you have questions or ideas to share, contact us at info@LymeFiber.net

Steve Campbell For LymeFiber

It’s been a while since you saw those “LymeFiber” trucks on the roads in town, and you may be wondering what’s happening with the project. Here’s an update.

Those trucks were doing a pole census – noting the precise location and condition of each of the 2,000 utility poles in Lyme where LymeFiber will need to string the fiber-optic cable. With that census complete they now enter the next phase of the project – a phase that can be the most time-consuming and expensive part of the whole project. And at this point it’s all behind the scenes.

It’s called the make-ready phase. Following rules established by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, LymeFiber LLC negotiates with each utility who owns those poles to make any changes needed so that LymeFiber can add their cable to the poles. In many cases nothing needs to be done, but often the wires need to be relocated on the poles. If the poles are old or damaged, a whole new pole might be needed. 

The timing and cost of this work – yes, LymeFiber pays – has to be negotiated. That’s what they’re working on now. They have agreements in place from Eversource and New Hampshire Electric Coop; they expect to have an agreement soon from Liberty Utilities. However, negotiations with Consolidated Communications, Inc., (CCI) are proving more complex. CCI rightly sees LymeFiber as competition. The good news is that the team at ValleyNet, the construction and operations manager for LymeFiber, has lots of experience dealing with these problems. They are confident that they will eventually get an agreement from CCI. 

Once they have Pole Attachment Agreements from all the utilities, the actual make-ready work on the poles can begin. When that happens, you will again see utility crews working on the poles. The goal is to have all the make-ready work done by the end of this year. Then the comparatively straightforward task of stringing the fiber-optic cables can begin. The timing will depend on the weather; work usually has to stop during mud season. Although we had originally hoped to provide service in Spring 2020, our goal is to start connecting customers in Summer 2020.

We’re grateful to all the people who have supported the project through the no-obligation sign-up. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can still do so at our website at LymeFiber.net

ValleyNet, Lyme Fiber’s implementation partner, announced today that it has chosen a new Managing Director, Christopher Recchia, of Randolph, VT. Chris brings a wealth of non-profit and telecom regulatory experience, most notably as the head of Vermont’s Department of Public Service from 2012-2017. “ValleyNet and ECFiber have created a now-proven model for expanding quality high-speed broadband to rural New England and I look forward to expanding its availability to other areas, as well as bringing ECFiber’s network to its full potential,” Chris stated. Read more »

In January, people started to see LymeFiber trucks working in Lyme. This photo shows Klee Smith, a contractor for ValleyNet in front of Lyme’s horse sheds.
Klee is conducting a pole survey to create an inventory of all the poles along with their geographic coordinates.

As of January 2019, the number of signups crossed 200! We’re expecting that between 300 and 400 people will ultimately sign up by the time we begin to provide service in Summer 2020.

There’s no obligation, but if you would like to indicate your interest in a high-speed fiber connection, please fill out the form at the Sign Up Now page.


screenshot of LymeFiber Signup page

We opened the signup process for LymeFiber in mid-December 2018 to allow Lyme residents to express an interest in becoming a customer of our universal high-speed internet service. After just two weeks, right before Christmas, over 160 people had already signed up.

There is no obligation – we will get back to you to confirm you want to subscribe as we get closer to rolling out service to the town in Summer 2020. You can get more details on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you want to sign up, fill in the LymeFiber Signup form at https://www.lymefiber.net/sign-up-for-lymefiber/ Thanks, Lyme!


We’ve just started the web site for LymeFiber.net. Please send any questions or comments to the webmaster at info@lymefiber.net