October 17, 2016

FTS Fiber News

August 16, 2017 – FTS to Build More Fiber on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

FTS Fiber has won another contract on Maryland’s eastern shore.  The commissioners of Queen Anne’s County voted last week 3-2 in favor of an $8.7M contract to spread broadband through the county.

FTS will be building out 160 route miles of regional fiber throughout the county, which lies across the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis.  The new fiber will initially connect 82 sites for the county government, over which it will provide some $2.2M in lit services and maintenance. It’s the same sort of arrangement they previously won last summer in Kent County just to the north.  Over the last few years FTS has built out a fiber ring connecting the region to the markets of Baltimore, Washington DC, and Virginia Beach. Read More

August 11, 2017 – Queen Anne’s County agrees to FTS contract for Broadband

In a split vote Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners voted 3–2 in favor of signing a $6.5 million contract to bring broadband fiber to Queen Anne’s County. FTS Fiber, the same company currently serving Kent County, will provide the design, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of a fiber optic broadband network throughout the county. Of particular importance is the fact that rural, underserved areas of the county will have the opportunity to hook into the network. Read More

July 27, 2017 – (Cecil) County exploring fiber loop similar to Kent County project

Cecil County officials are exploring the possibility of installing a fiber loop around the county to boost internet access. “In the 21st century, it’s not just about ‘Do you have electricity, wastewater and water?’” said Chris Moyer, director of economic development. “Fiber, fiber, fiber is right on the tip of everyone’s tongues.”

“Kent County installed a fiber loop around the county, touching upon the various institutions and county assets,” Moyer said, explaining that the loop connects schools, hospitals, and county buildings, but businesses can pay to tap into the loop, which will connect to 99 percent of the properties in the county. “We want to explore that,” Moyer said. “We’ll be touring their loop and meeting with them about how to get something like that in Cecil County.” Read More

June 13, 2017 – KRM Development’s Dixon Square Project in Kent County, Md. — High-Speed Fiber is a Game Changer For Us

Bryan Matthews, KRM Development’s Vice President says, “The high-speed fiber coming to Kent County is the game changer for us as well. For a project like this, when we’re talking to businesses in other parts of the country, trying to attract them to come here, one of the keys certainly is having that high-speed fiber.”

The Chestertown Spy sat down with Kate Gray, president of KRM, and Bryan Matthews, KRM’s vice president, to talk about plans for what appears to be one of the most ambitious projects to come to Chestertown and Kent County in a long time. Read More

June 7, 2017 – Bringing Fiber-Optics to Maryland’s Eastern Shore Requires Champions and Partners, Say Panelists

Champions, partnerships and flexibility are necessary to bring fiber-optic networks to less-populated communities, said participants involved in launching such a network in Kent County, Maryland. FTS Fiber’s CEO, Brett Hill, said partnerships, such as the one FTS Fiber has with ThinkBig Networks, help make a complete package. He said FTS Fiber partnered with Kent County a year ago, and now they have almost 100 miles of cable in the ground in the county. FTS Fiber’s initial goal was to complete the plan in two years, but it looks like the plan will be finished in Kent County in only 14 months. Read More

June 2, 2017 – Partner Up! Hear Kent County’s Remarkable P3 Success Story

FTS Fiber’s CEO, Brett Hill, will be on a panel next Friday, June 2, at the 2017 SHLB Annual Conference along with Mark Wagner from ThinkBig Networks and Scott Boone from Kent County, discussing the Kent Fiber Project and our Public-Private Partnership. Read More

May 30, 2017 – Gigabit County: The Future of Broadband and Its Implications for Kent County

FTS Fiber, the winning bidder to the RFP, was planning to build a fiber ring with hundreds of individual optical fibers to connect a major internet exchange point in Ashburn, Virginia to a new undersea fiber link in Virginia Beach. The undersea link and the fiber ring serve clients who are very major users of the internet and wanted an additional route for internet traffic to and from Europe that did not go through New York City. FTS originally planned to build the eastern half of the ring down the Delmarva Peninsula by crossing the Chesapeake Bay below the Bay Bridge, but realized they could cross to Rock Hall and run the fiber through Kent County and the upper Eastern Shore just as well.  So FTS proposed to re-route its fiber ring and and to install an additional 110 miles of fiber in Kent County connecting 54 county government facilities, as well as to lay fiber to every home and business that requested it. Read More

April 21, 2017 – Fiber in Kent County

A partnership among a county government, a regional dark fiber network and a retail service provider is a win-win-win deal. The biggest winners are the county residents making a quantum leap from dial-up to FTTH.

The other rural counties along the path of FTS Fiber’s Ashburn–Virginia Beach ring – on both the Eastern and Western Shores – could enter into similar partnerships with FTS. Both FTS and ThinkBig are enthusiastic about this possibility, and FTS designed the contract with Kent County so that other counties could easily sign on to it. Read More

April 18, 2017 – Kent County’s Fiber Future

FTS, the dark fiber provider, is building the anchor network using government and private investment funds. FTS was already laying an international fiber cable and a backbone fiber network down the DelMarVa peninsula, so it was in a prime position to extend that fiber deeper into the Kent County community.  Scott Boone, Kent County IT Director, admits that luck was on their side to complete this project.

While the project started with connecting anchors, the second stage will enable connectivity to the county’s 20,000 residents as well.  Because FTS built an “open access” network, additional companies can now build off the backbone. ThinkBig Networks is currently in the process of rolling out “last mile” gigabit service for any home requesting service. This is a perfect example of a Private-Public Partnership model in action. Read More

April 5, 2017 – Queen Anne’s County Moves Forward on Fiber Optic Network

At their March 28 meeting, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners voted 5-0 to hold a public hearing and move forward with contract negotiations with FTS Fiber for design, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of a fiber optic broadband network.

“After much deliberation and comparison between the final two, we are here today to recommend FTS,” Megan DelGuadio, information technology manager for Queen Anne’s County, told the commissioners last week. For $8.7 million, FTS is proposing to construct 160 miles of fiber throughout Queen Anne’s County as well as provide the county government with a dedicated lit fiber network to 82 sites. Read More

January 30, 2017 – Dark Fiber Provider Plans Line Connecting Major Internet Hubs in Virginia

Ashburn and Virginia Beach are two major centers of internet traffic, and FTS Fiber met with the Middlesex Broadband Authority (MBA) on January 18, to explain its strategy to connect the two locations. Middlesex County lies in the path of the future cable. Adam Noll co-founded the dark fiber provider, and spoke to the group. A fiber line connecting Northern Virginia to the Atlantic coast has potential to anchor build out in many rural parts of the state. Read More

January 25, 2017 – Fauquier County Visits Kent County, Md. to Discuss Kent’s Fiber Project

While fiber will be the backbone for providing more access to broadband internet service in Fauquier County, “we’re going to look at different technologies to use over that infrastructure,” Supervisor Rick Gerhardt said Monday. Rick Gerhardt, Marshall District Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel and Deputy County Administrator Katie Heritage are planning a road trip to Kent County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to hear about the fiber-optic network being installed there. Read More

January 25, 2017 – Middlesex Focuses on Advanced Broadband

Middlesex County appears to be in a good location to take advantage of a future online communication infrastructure. Adam Noll of FTS Fiber told the MBA the company he co-founded is planning to run a major “dark fiber” optic line down Route 17. This line would run from Ashburn in Northern Virginia to Virginia Beach and could be the backbone from which other lines are run to bring broadband internet service to rural areas, such as Middlesex County, he explained. Read More

January 16, 2017 – FTS Fiber Signs Anchor Tenant on Key DelMarVa Fiber Route 

FTS Fiber has signed a new anchor tenant on its key DelMarVa fiber route. FTS Fiber is currently constructing a fiber ring connecting Virginia Beach and Ashburn, VA, traversing the eastern portion of Virginia and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

“Our DelMarVa fiber route is a very unique route which continues to attract new tenants. It not only appeals to various network operators and business sectors but also allows for rural Eastern Shore Counties, like our current partner Kent County, MD, to leverage the nearby network to provide reliable high-speed internet for their businesses and residents. More and more these days we are seeing a push for rural broadband expansion in the U.S., and we are excited to see that FTS’ network can also play an integral part in that initiative along the DelMarVa,” said Brett Hill, Chief Executive Officer of FTS Fiber.

FTS Fiber’s 110-mile, county-wide network in Kent County, MD is still on schedule to be completed by the end of 2017.  The entire DelMarVa route is scheduled for completion in 2018, which will connect Virginia Beach, VA to Ashburn, VA via the DelMarVa Peninsula and Baltimore, MD. Read More

January 3, 2017 -After millions of investment, jurisdictions try to achieve potential of fiber network

“Kent County brought on the dark-fiber provider FTS Fiber this year to build and manage a 110-mile network. The Eastern Shore county is contributing $4.5 million toward the roughly $20 million anticipated investment. The network is to connect to 54 anchor institutions. ThinkBig is helping to pay to install connections to homes. Other internet providers can lease strands as well.” Read More



November 15, 2016 – Kent County Wins MACo Best Practices Awards for 110-mile Dark Fiber Broadband Expansion Program

Congratulations to Kent County’s Broadband Extension Program for winning the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance County Best Practices Award. For this Broadband Extension Program, Kent County entered into a public/private partnership to construct 110 miles of “dark” fiber-optic infrastructure which will enable future-proof technology to connect rural residents and business’. The Program provides tower access to wireless provider’s utilities existing resources and the economic effects on Kent County are minimal. Read More


June 14, 2016 – FTS Fiber breaks ground on 110-mile fiber network, sets foundation for 1 Gbps in rural Maryland

FTS Fiber, a dark fiber supplier providing carrier-class network infrastructure in both rural areas and other major U.S. markets, has begun building a 110-mile fiber network in Kent County, Maryland. Over the next several months, subcontractors contracted by Whiting-Turner will install the dark fiber cable. Work on the network is scheduled to be completed by mid to late 2017. Working in tandem with internet service provider ThinkBig, FTS will provide 1 Gbps service throughout the rural Eastern Shore area beginning in August. FTS said that the fiber network connecting 54 sites in the county will “encourage economic growth and improve quality of life for residents and local businesses.” Read More


June 14, 2016 – FTS Fiber Takes Aim at Maryland’s Kent County

Fiber will soon be coming to a piece of Maryland that has rarely gotten the attention of the market.  FTS Fiber, a builder and operator of dark fiber infrastructure that I haven’t run into until now, revealed plans yesterday to begin construction of a significant fiber build in rural Kent Count, Maryland. FTS Fiber is working with the county and with ThinkBig Networks, an ISP that plans to use the infrastructure to offer gigabit connections.  Subcontractors brought in by Whiting-Turner will be doing the actual digging and such, with work continuing through mid-to-late 2017. Read More


June 14, 2016 – County Officials and FTS launch future of high-speed Internet in Kent

Under clear blue skies on Monday, the Kent County Commissioners broke ground in Chestertown with FTS Fiber and its partners to launch a new era of high speed Internet in Kent that will propel blazing 1-gigabyte service into any home in Kent that wants it. “This helps bring Kent County into the twenty-first century,“ said Kent County Commissioner President William Pickrum at the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, which was well attended by state and local officials, as well as representatives from the offices of US Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman Andy Harris. “Internet access is no longer a luxury; it is a utility just like telephone, electricity [and] cellphone.” Read More


June 14, 2016 – FTS Fiber Begins Construction of 110-Mile Fiber Network to Bring Gigabit Speed Internet to Maryland Residents

FTS today officially starts construction of a 110-mile fiber network in Kent County, Md., providing an infrastructure that will make high-speed Internet available to businesses and residents throughout the rural Eastern Shore county. Subcontractors contracted by Whiting-Turner will be installing the dark fiber optic cable over the next several months. FTS Fiber is partnering with ThinkBig Networks, an ISP provider, to bring the first gigabit internet speeds to Kent County in August 2016, and work is scheduled to be completed by mid to late 2017. The state-of-the-art dark fiber network connecting 54 sites throughout the county will encourage economic growth and improve quality of life for residents and local businesses. Read More


May 10, 2016 – FTS Fiber Partners with Think Big Networks to Bring Fiber and Gigabit Broadband Speeds to Kent County, Md.

 In January 2016, Kent County, Md. issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design and construction of a Fiber Optic Broadband Network. Kent County’s mission was to create a fiber infrastructure that would improve connectivity to essential anchor institutions, priority funding areas, industrial parks and communities around the county. Bidders were encouraged to propose creative design recommendations for the network, particularly to connect all possible 54 sites and areas that Kent County specified in the RFP. In response to the RFP, FTS Fiber presented a proposal with a unique funding approach and faster timeline that exceeded Kent County’s goal of providing high-speed internet connectivity to its residents. Read More


Feb 22, 2016 – Commissioners Approve Dark Fiber Broadband Network

The county commissioners agreed to begin negotiating a contract for a dark fiber-optic network expected to bring broadband Internet to most Kent County residents at their Tuesday, Feb. 23 meeting. FTS Fiber, a company based in West Ocean City, is proposing to build the network throughout the county. The commissioners previously heard from the Kent County Broadband Committee at a Feb. 16 meeting, and found out more information at a Thursday, Feb. 18 public workshop. Read More


Feb 17, 2016 – Broadband Vendor for Kent is Identified

The Kent County Broadband Committee appeared before the commissioners to recommend a broadband provider. A year and a half in the making, the project calls for a ring of dark fiber optic cable to be built in Kent County, providing a fast and stable broadband Internet network for residents, especially those in underserved areas.Tuesday night, Boone told the commissioners that after reviewing proposals, the committee chose FTS Fiber of West Ocean City to build the fiber network. “There’s a solution that provides a gigabyte to every home in Kent County,” he said. Read More