Our Story

The Future of Northwest Connecticut
Open for Business Northwest Connecticut

Northwest Connect Inc is a non-profit corporation formed in the fall of 2015 by state and local elected officials in the northwest corner of Connecticut to orchestrate a twenty-first century communications network for 25 towns in our region.  We established three goals: a fiber optic network connecting everyone in the region; a significant enhancement to the mobile network using the new fiber optic lines for back-haul; and economic development enabled by the new network.

In late 2015 we began discussions with Frontier for such a network.  We supplied Frontier with a series of business and technical questions, they dutifully answered, and we entered into discussion preliminary to a contract.  For reasons we still do not understand Frontier broke off communications in the late summer of 2016.

In seeking an alternative a public/private partnership seemed most feasible, with the public partner sharing construction costs to compensate for our thin housing footprint.   We entered into discussions with Axia Partners, a Canadian company owned by a large private equity firm with networks around the world.  Unhappily, Axia’s owner decided to vacate the American market last spring.

Meanwhile we obtained grants from the state of Connecticut totaling $250,000 (the only state grants for telecommunications) to develop an information web site, create the legal foundations for a community sponsored network, conduct mobile and CATV surveys, and conduct programmatic community outreach.  All of these are now in progress.

Northwest ConneCT has and continues to explore partnerships with existing telecommunication companies. We are establishing ourselves in the community, built a website and have started to meet with various groups from our towns to get clear on what short and long-term benefits are predicted from this investment.

We are preparing Requests for Information to begin attracting vendors for various aspects of our new network.  Together we will prepare our communities for a sustainable future.

Schedule

2017-early 2018.   Website, legal package concluded, visits to all 25 regional communities, broad distribution of information and questions being answered.  RFIs and RFPs to select vendors.

Spring and Summer 2018.  One-on-one meetings to explain everything to elected officials and community stakeholders

June-December 2018.  Community engagement and community votes on subsidies

Summer 2018-Spring 2019.  Network engineering.

Early 2019.  Head end build, first community build

Late 2021.  Completion of fiber network, installation of mobile antennas.

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