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.