News | June 16, 2014

The OpenCape Network Celebrates Completion Of First Year Delivering New Fiber-Optic Broadband To Cape Cod And Southeastern Massachusetts

WESTBOROUGH, MASS.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

OpenCape Corporation and CapeNet LLC announced first-year milestones for the region’s first open-access fiber-optic OpenCape Network, which launched in June, 2013. The network now spans more than 400 miles throughout southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, with high-speed links to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Non-profit OpenCape Corporation, which owns the network on behalf of the region, chose CapeNet LLC through a competitive process, to build the network and sell services.

The original network spanned 350 miles through 37 towns. During the past year, CapeNet and OpenCape have added more than 100 new miles of fiber routes, including additional connectivity in southeastern Massachusetts and new connections into Boston and Cambridge.

Alan Davis, President and CEO of CapeNet, said, “Our first priority has been getting better broadband to the most data-intensive users, especially those who need better reliability. In the future we will expand services to small businesses and residents. We’re in this for the long haul."

Dan Vortherms, OpenCape CEO said, “Our partnership with CapeNet has been extremely successful and productive. We’re especially pleased that CapeNet has taken initiative above and beyond delivering service to the Anchor Institutions.”

86 Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) were connected to the network as part of the original construction, including local government buildings, schools, colleges, libraries and research institutions.

54 CAIs are already using high-speed broadband, with more coming on board each month. Every town on Cape Cod has one or more CAIs and there are several throughout southeastern Massachusetts.

A dozen last-mile providers and resellers, which serve larger commercial users and schools, have already signed on with CapeNet.

Last-mile providers – and towns – will play an important role in extending high-speed fiber-optic broadband to more and more users. Falmouth is currently in the lead, with plans to service 17 town sites and build 11 new network branches. Several towns are talking with CapeNet about Wi-Fi networks to blanket their business districts.

Mr. Davis said, “In the past year, we’ve won high-profile commercial customers for whom data is mission-critical. They chose us because our service is more reliable and we have an advanced network that’s on a par with the best networks in the world. For these big data users, our prices are competitive and we’re winning sales in head-to-head competition against other service providers.”

Mr. Davis added, “Our customers also view the network as an important, home-grown community asset that, over time, will become more and more important. They wanted to be among the first to use it and support it.”

First-year customers include Joint Base Cape Cod (formerly called Otis AFB), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the towns of Falmouth, Barnstable and Truro, Cape Cod Commission, Barnstable County, Hydroid, Woods Hole Group, MegaNet, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, Lightower, Granite Block Data Center and Taunton Municipal Power and Light.

Several other research organizations are connected to the OpenCape network through WHOI: Marine Biological Laboratory, US Geological Services, National Marine Fisheries Services, Woods Hole Research Center, and Sea Education Association (SEA).

27 libraries throughout the Cape are now using the network for administrative connections between libraries. These new connections take pressure off their public network, which can get overloaded during summer months.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Massasoit Community College are also using the OpenCape network. Area schools include Barnstable, Falmouth, Nauset, East & West Sturgis, East Bridgewater, Brockton, Cape Cod Regional Technical High School and Upper Cape Regional Technical High School.

The network was built using federal and state grants, a financial contribution from CapeNet, and the support of Barnstable County. The network is now self-sustaining, and revenue is reinvested to maintain the network and reach more users over time.

Mr. Davis said, “We’re making excellent progress and our presence is being felt. Several of our customers have already come back and bought more services. Buyers like having choices, often for the first time.

Mr. Davis summed up, “The network has been compared to a new highway. There’s still plenty of work ahead to build more off-ramps and local roads. And just like a highway, the OpenCape network can be used by any service provider, including towns – it can’t be monopolized by a single vendor. That’s a game-changer in the U.S.”

About CapeNet

CapeNet is your source for high-bandwidth business services including Internet access from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps, Ethernet, VoIP, Point-to-Point connections, Cloud services, Colocation, Wavelengths, Dark Fiber, wholesale and custom solutions.

CapeNet LLC is a joint venture between CapeNet Partners, Inc. and Lightbridge Communications. CapeNet Partners, the managing member, is comprised of seasoned professionals with extensive experience in building and operating telecommunications networks in the northeast, and specifically in Massachusetts.

To learn more about the future of fiber in the region, please visit www.capenet.com.

About OpenCape Corporation

Non-profit OpenCape Corporation’s purpose is to fulfill the need for a new communications network on Cape Cod and the Islands to enhance education, research and economic development, and to provide for an emergency communications network.

The OpenCape Network is made possible by a $32-million federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant and a total of $8 million in matching funds from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Barnstable County and CapeNet.

For more information, please visit www.opencape.com.

Copyright Business Wire 2014

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