Ziply Fiber selects Kellogg for network upgrade project

| May 15, 2020 5:44 PM

Kirkland, Washington – Ziply Fiber, just two weeks after taking over the Northwest operations of Frontier Communications, announced Friday that Kellogg, Idaho will be one of 13 initial locations across the company’s four-state territory that will receive a major upgrade to its internet options when the company deploys miles of fiber-optic cables to enable gig-speed internet service to homes and businesses. This will put Kellogg on par with options available in larger cities like Portland and Seattle.

The build-out is part of Ziply Fiber’s $500 million investment into upgrades and improvements to its network and services. The company is kicking off a series of simultaneous construction projects across select regions of Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana, that when completed, will provide customers in those areas with the fastest, most reliable, state-of-the-art network available anywhere.

“We believe you don’t have to live in a big city to get great internet, especially in this time where so many people across the region work from home and engage with their schools, community groups, friends, customers, business partners and workforces primarily online,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “There’s a massive opportunity to improve the online experiences for our communities, neighbors and friends, and that’s why we’re investing here in the Northwest and why we’re thrilled to be able to bring that amazing experience to Kellogg.”

Ziply Fiber is making the work in Kellogg a priority so customers can get up and running quickly. While the work will start later this month and likely finish by mid-August, Ziply Fiber estimates that its first customers can begin taking advantage of gig-speed fiber internet roughly 45-60 days after starting work. Other towns in Idaho in which Ziply Fiber is kicking-off projects this month are Moscow and Coeur d’Alene.

“These are big changes for the Northwest. The work we’re doing is complex and is going to take some time,” added Zeitz. “While others have not had the intent or capital to do this work, we are committed and have the funds to invest in to building the best, fastest network possible. We intend to communicate regularly with our customers, especially when we’re doing service improvements in their area. We want people to know what’s going on and to be excited about it,”

Ziply Fiber’s primary service offerings will be Fiber Internet (1GB/sec) and phone for residential customers, Business Fiber Internet and Ziply Voice services for small businesses; and a variety of internet, networking and voice solutions for enterprise customers. The company will continue to support DSL and TV customers. A full listing of products and services can be found at www.ziplyfiber.com.

The Kellogg build-out will include primarily aerial overlashing, where fiber will be wrapped around the existing telephone lines. Also utilized in select area will be underground placements where new fiber is

buried using trenching and boring methods. Ziply’s brand-new fiber network will be optimized for the future of internet and will provide connectivity as good as or better than that of any large city.

A Network Purpose-Built for the Internet Ziply Fiber also announced that it has acquired Wholesail Networks, a Northwest-based, privately-held telecommunications and internet infrastructure company that Ziply Fiber has been working with for the past six months to lay the groundwork for its fiber network that is purpose-built for the internet. A key component of Ziply Fiber’s Northwest-focused strategy was to pre-invest in network improvements prior to the May 1 closing of its deal with Frontier and to jump-start service upgrades.

To do so, the company began working with Wholesail’s team last fall to begin sourcing and deploying next generation technology to improve the capacity, reliability and redundancy of its network. This pre-investment in its core and aggregation networks helped Ziply Fiber rapidly and confidently deploy the first set of improvements that will benefit all customers connected to its network regardless of service and regardless of geography. These upgrade also will enable customers who choose fiber connections to their homes and businesses to have the best possible online experience.

Ziply Fiber engaged Wholesail Networks last fall to begin building and upgrading the internet backbone, network design and technology that Ziply Fiber would need to support all the things that its customers do online, and that work continues to be the team’s focus today as the newest Ziply Fiber employees. Their work includes upgrading and creating redundant resiliency in the technology – installing two sets of fiber cabling, routers, cards and more – in the majority of Ziply Fiber’s more than 130 regional hubs, also known as Central Offices. They also have been increasing performance of the network by deploying additional, second and third fiber connections through and between what Ziply Fiber considers to be major markets. These are not just cities like Seattle and Portland, but also places like Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Wenatchee, Wash.; and the Tri-Cities area in Central Washington.

“Reliable, fast internet is important to someone somewhere at every hour of the day,” said John van Oppen, CEO/CTO and Founder of WholeSail Networks, who will take on the role of VP, Network at Ziply Fiber. “We understand that and, as such, are engineering our network with full redundancy so people have uninterrupted service even if we need to take part of the network offline for maintenance of if a network component goes down. We’re very deliberate about building with our customers’ needs in mind, and are balancing the need for rapid improvement with taking the time to deploy it right.”

“All of this work is to support our promise to customers to be consistently on, reliably fast and confidently ready for whatever comes,” added Zeitz. “We’re an honestly local company, just like Wholesail Networks, and are proud to be bringing this great service to communities throughout the Northwest.”

Ziply Fiber is headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, and has major offices in Everett, Washington; Beaverton, Oregon and Hayden, Idaho. Most of Ziply Fiber’s executive team, which consists of former executives from AT&T, CenturyLink and Wave Broadband, either grew up in the Northwest or have spent the better part of 30 years living here. That local ownership and market familiarity is an important part of the company mindset and culture.