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Welcome to VETRO’s Network News! We compile cool tidbits of fiber network and connectivity news from around the web to end your week on a high note.

Here at VETRO HQ in Portland, Maine, we’re celebrating Tuesday’s passing of a bond initiative for $15m in broadband infrastructure funding to match $30m in outside funds with 75% of the vote! Penned by our friends at the Connect Maine Authority and supported by their very thorough action plan, this funding initiative stands to have a major impact on how rural mainers connect to economic, educational, healthcare and other opportunities. Hats off to our home state!

In related news, our customer Pioneer Broadband has been quietly connecting homes and businesses in the very northern tip of Maine to their gigabit fiber service for a while now. As trailblazers in bringing fiber to rural communities, Pioneer truly lives up to their name. Listen to the company’s CEO Tim McAfee on the Broadband Bunch Podcast talk about how Pioneer got their start, and how their responsive approach to strategy has positioned them as leaders in rural connectivity.

Over on the opposite side of the States, Facebook – along with a cohort of tech and robotics companies including Quanta Services, NetEquity Networks, and ULC Robotics – has been developing a robot that can run aerial fiber cable on existing electric infrastructure. Code named, “Bombyx,” the latin word for “silkworm,” the bot was specifically developed to reduce the cost of fiber installation and bring high speed connectivity to underserved communities.

IMAGE COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

This week saw the deadline for short form bid applications to be submitted to the FCC for the upcoming Rural Development Opportunity Fund auction. Did you get yours in? In other FCC news, today they announced the approval of $20m of 2018’s CAF II auction funds to providers in Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

The latest in broadband technology is fiber to the… sewer? Check out this piece about how London’s unused Victorian-era sewers are utilizing fiber to “listen” for sewage-related problems like broken pipes, or a recent “concreteberg” that caused a huge blockage that took weeks to excavate.

Have a great weekend from the team at VETRO!

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