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Ziply Fiber bringing gig-speed fiber to area

| May 20, 2021 1:00 AM

Ziply Fiber has announced plans to bring gig-speed fiber internet service to an additional 22 markets across the Northwest in 2021 — including Sandpoint and Ponderay.

The expansion will focus mostly on smaller and rural towns, and is part of the company’s multi-year $500 million investment in its network and improved service in both urban and rural settings throughout the region, Ziply officials said in a press release.

This announcement comes on the heels of a launch of fiber service in Moscow, the company’s 16th new fiber market since it began its four-state fiber expansion last spring, after acquiring the Northwest assets of Frontier Communications for $1.35 billion. Since that time, the company has hired more than 400 new employees and has laid more than 1,000 miles of new fiber to help improve internet connectivity in rural areas to be on par with larger metropolitan areas, and has added thousands of customers onto its new fiber network.

“The speed and reliability that fiber delivers to residents and businesses is critical in today’s online world where web conferences, online learning and streaming entertainment are often all happening at the same time, something outdated technologies were never meant to support,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “We’ve spent the past year investing in and constructing an all-new, state-of-the-art fiber-optic network, purpose built to deliver symmetrical upload/download speeds to residents and businesses.”

The news was hailed by officials in states where the company announced its expansion.

“This important new announcement from Ziply Fiber is essential in expanding the digital footprint in Idaho and bringing new reliable internet connectivity to communities, residents and businesses across the state,” Idaho Department of Commerce Director Tom Kealey said. “This infrastructure investment will have positive, long-lasting results for their residents by providing digital learning opportunities, teleworking capabilities and telehealth. We thank Ziply Fiber for its investment in Idaho.”

While the company is in the early-stage planning and permitting in some of the markets, it expects to turn-up service by Labor Day to tens of thousands of homes, apartments and businesses in many areas.

As part of its work in its four-state service area, 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, Ziply officials said they expect to connect its first sets of customers in each town this summer.