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A Ziply Fiber workforce is in Stanwood neighborhoods, upgrading its copper system to a fiber-optic network.

The company says it's part of a regional effort to update many small towns in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

After buying Frontier in May 2020, Ziply began a $500 million, three-year push to connect a handful of towns at a time to fiber in a 250,000 square mile territory. The expansion includes new fiber-optic cables, local hubs, new offices and new hardware to run the network.

Ziply started with Anacortes and Snohomish, then began designing networks in Granite Falls, Mukilteo, Sedro Woolley and others. These networks are currently under construction and expected to be ready in the next few months.

Ziply announced that Stanwood, Arlington, Monroe, Oak Harbor and Skykomish are the next group of towns to begin the design and permitting phase, with construction coming in the next few weeks.

The Ziply team in Stanwood has finished design and engineering and has city permits in hand. They’re just waiting on the Snohomish County and state Department of Transportation permits before they start construction, said Jessica Epley, Ziply’s vice president of regulatory and external affairs.

She’s working with the Stanwood team, which has determined it will take 234,000 feet in a fiber-to-home network to connect 1,700 addresses within the city boundaries. That includes current customers and anyone in Stanwood who wants to join.

“We’re spending $1.5 million to upgrade our network in this area,” she said.

Customers in Stanwood could have fiber connections by year's end, some as early as November, Epley said.

Wave Broadband currently provides fiber service in the Stanwood area.

Stanwood customers currently have access to Wave’s gig-speed internet and other offerings, along with phone, and video/TV services, Wave spokesperson Mark Peterson said.

“Wave has been a proponent of bringing the area high-speed internet and other services for years," he said. "We are continuously upgrading Wave's network here locally and throughout our West Coast footprint. As just one local example during the past year, Wave added many fiber-diverse paths to the community/area.”

On Camano Island, Island County officials are continuing to work on plans to build infrastructure that will help companies provide broadband and fiber internet service to underserved areas.

Contact reporter Peggy Wendel at pwendel@scnews.com or 360-416-2189.

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