FirstLight Reaches Fiber Expansion Milestone in Vermont
FirstLight continues trend of investing in the Green Mountain State
Albany, NY – July 26, 2022 – FirstLight, a leading provider of digital infrastructure services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, announced today it has reached an expansion milestone in Vermont with 1,800 route miles of fiber in service throughout the state.
The company has grown organically in Vermont, as well as through various acquisitions. In 2013, FirstLight acquired the assets of Vermont-based TelJet, and in 2017, acquired SoverNet Communications, along with its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) assets. FirstLight continues to honor all of the commitments made under these BTOP grants and operates these fiber assets in an open access manner consistent with BTOP guidelines.
This impressive fiber network runs throughout Vermont and is designed to facilitate interconnection with more than 30 PoPs and thousands of interconnection points. It currently connects 1,500 locations with the ability to connect 6,800 additional buildings. Since acquiring these BTOP assets, FirstLight has invested its own capital to upgrade the network with latest generation technology and expanded the footprint to serve more customers throughout the state. So far in 2022, FirstLight has added 58 route miles of fiber in Vermont, with 47 additional miles slated for construction by year’s end.
FirstLight serves some of Vermont’s largest schools, colleges, healthcare facilities, government entities, and financial services institutions – along with retailers and small businesses – with low-latency, symmetrical broadband, in addition to an array of unified communications, cloud, and security solutions and equipment. All are supported by local teams of technicians and service staff. In addition to businesses, FirstLight also connects more than 300 cell sites throughout the state in support of its wireless carrier customers’ initiatives to deliver high-quality broadband services including those enabled by 5G.
FirstLight operates two data centers in Burlington as well as various support centers located throughout the state.
“Given its unique geography and rugged topography, combined with its natural draw for tourism and four-season recreation, Vermont needs a reliable fiber provider with the ability to deliver secure, redundant connectivity and diverse solutions 24x7,” explained Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO. “FirstLight is honored and proud to provide these services. FirstLight has deep roots in the area, and Vermont remains an important region for us to serve.”
In addition to the infrastructure services it provides, FirstLight has invested significantly in the people and communities of Vermont. For example, FirstLight is the premier sponsor of the FirstLight Shootout, a major annual college hockey tournament hailed by sports writers as the best tournament in Division III hockey. Colleges in Vermont, New York, and an invited western state compete each year to claim title to the coveted Shootout cup during Thanksgiving weekend.
FirstLight is also a member of several Vermont chambers of commerce and is a close partner to the Vermont Technology Alliance (“VtTA”) with a key member of FirstLight’s executive team serving on VtTA’s board. FirstLight has supported a number of local nonprofit organizations and civic groups over the years, including Kindle Farm School, the UVM Children's Hospital Golf Classic and Vita-Learn.