Thursday, June 21, 2018
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G-whiz! Gigabit fiber coming to Gothenburg

Gfiber, powered by Pinpoint Communication, will install and operate telecommunication services in Gothenburg offering Internet connection speeds up to one gigabit.

The announcement was made last Wednesday night at a community celebration near the city four-plex that was attended by an estimated 900 people.

“We have a corporate partner that puts us on the communications interstate,” said Nate Wyatt who headed the Gothenburg Improvement Company team that spearheaded the recruitment effort. “As a community Gothenburg has benefited from being on I-80 for decades. We’ve fallen behind today because we’re not on the communications superhighway.”

Partnering with Pinpoint “puts us back on the communications superhighway and gets us to the 2014 version of I-80,” he said.

Wyatt, chair of GIC’s fiber infrastructure committee, said gfiber will offer faster Internet service, more bandwidth for more devices and other services for television and devices as well as line phone services.

The former Great Western Bank building, on the corner of 10th Street and Avenue D, will be renovated to house the business. Once 500 subscribers are committed, Pinpoint will proceed with installation of fiber throughout the city by a third party. Service is expected to be available next summer.

Tom Shoemaker, vice president of Pinpoint Communication, told the crowd that Gothenburg is a unique place.

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the vision of the community, the local support and the local leadership for this town,” he said.

He praised the community for an 80% rate of return on the surveys earlier this spring. “That’s unheard of in any market,” Shoemaker said.

He noted the value of fiber in a community is huge.

“It’s future-proofing your community and bringing you the most up-to-date networks and broadband capabilities for your schools, businesses and individuals,” he said.

Pinpoint branded the local venture as gfiber.

“The gfiber stands for Gothenburg fiber,” Shoemaker said, “but it has a secondary meaning of gigabit fiber. That’s where it really steps up to the plate.

For the project to move forward, Wyatt said 500 customers are needed to sign up for services by Aug. 1 with a $10 deposit. That is almost assured as the total less than a week after the announcement was 400 on Tuesday morning.

Customers can choose a telephone, television or Internet service or combine all three.

“Pinpoint will then meet or beat current pricing,” he explained. “Packages can also be customized.”

Wyatt said he doesn’t know of any other community the size of Gothenburg to have fiber that isn’t supported by an infrastructure tax.

“Small towns may have fiber locally but their customers pay an infrastructure tax that goes into a universal service fund,” Wyatt said.

GIC’s infrastructure committee has worked to bring fiber optics to town for over five years, Wyatt said. The group’s overtures to local telecommunications providers were unsuccessful so it broadened the search and that eventually led to the partnership with Pinpoint.

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