Fiber expansion part of $500 million investment to bridge the digital divide in smaller and rural communities around the Northwest
Kirkland, Washington (August 11, 2021) – Ziply™ Fiber today announced that it is bringing gig-speed fiber Internet service to 14 additional markets across Washington and Oregon this calendar year. This latest expansion, which focuses mostly on smaller and rural towns, is in addition to the 22 new market builds announced this Spring. This brings the total number of fiber expansion markets since it acquired the Northwest operations of Frontier Communications in 2020 to 52.
The company’s entire expansion effort is part of the it’s $500 million multi-year investment to improve its network and service in both urban and rural settings throughout its four-state service area, and to help bridge the digital divide that many of these communities have felt for years. The new expansion includes five cities in Washington and nine in Oregon, and will represent more than 38,000 new fiber ready addresses once construction is complete.
“Many of the communities we’re upgrading have never experienced anything like fiber before,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “We’ve seen an increased demand for high-speed Internet to support all the activities we do online, whether that’s online learning, streaming entertainment, or working from home. To support this, we’ve spent the last year investing and constructing a new state-of-the-art fiber-optic network, and we’re thrilled to bring these improvements to rural and urban communities in the Northwest.”
Ziply Fiber is in early-stage planning and permitting in these markets, but expects to turn-up service by the end of the year to tens of thousands of homes, apartments and businesses in:
- Washington – Arlington, Monroe, Oak Harbor, Skykomish and Stanwood
- Oregon – Cove, Dayton, Elgin, Imbler, Joseph, Lafayette, Mill City, Myrtle Point and Silverton
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 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.
As part of its work, construction crews will be busy building fiber service in stages through several areas of each city and town. While the work will take several weeks and months to fully complete, the company expects to connect its first sets of customers in each town before the end of the calendar year, and to add more and more addresses each week as the build continues.
As the company continues its rollout of fiber-based services across the region over the next several months and years, its Ziply Internet (DSL) customers also will begin seeing service improvements. Part of Ziply Fiber’s investment is going to work that’s well underway to improve its core and aggregation network, across which all Ziply internet traffic travels. While there’s still more work to be done, by improving the quality, capacity and reliability of those critical network components, customers of all types of services will benefit.
Ziply Fiber’s primary service offerings are Fiber Internet and phone for residential customers; Business Fiber Internet and Ziply Voice services for small businesses; and a variety of Internet, networking and voice solutions for enterprise customers. The company will continue to support Ziply Internet (DSL) customers, and its TV customers in Washington and Oregon. A full listing of products and services can be found at get.ziplyfiber.com.
Ziply Fiber is local in the Northwest, headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, and has major offices in Everett, Washington; Beaverton, Oregon; and Hayden, Idaho. Most of Ziply Fiber’s executive team, which consists of former executives from AT&T, CenturyLink and Wave Broadband, either grew up in the Northwest or have spent the better part of 30 years living here. That local ownership and market familiarity is an important part of the company mindset and culture.