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FarrPoint expands broadband to US with Vernonburg

In response to what it called unprecedented opportunities for broadband programme roll-outs in the US, connectivity specialist joins forces with Boston firm to provide one-stop shop for broadband planning and deployment

More than three years after Edinburgh-headquartered connectivity specialist FarrPoint first expanded overseas with the opening of a Canadian office and subsidiary, it has announced the opening of its second overseas office on the back of a new partnership with US consultancy firm Vernonburg Group.

Established in 2006, FarrPoint is an independent connectivity and smart technology consultancy advising the UK and Canadian governments on broadband and mobile infrastructure programmes. These include the nationwide Project Gigabit programme in the UK.

The FarrPoint team comprises consulting technologists, economists and data analysts who work together to provide advice on the commercial and technical considerations of the design of national and regional connectivity strategies, technical planning and modelling, procurement support, and implementation assurance.

For its part, Vernonburg Group advises governments, internet service providers, and connectivity hardware and offering providers on various aspects of closing the digital divide. This includes digital equity design and implementation, large-scale project feasibilities, public and private sector fundraising, broadband mapping and economic modelling, broadband policy and regulation, and market research and risk assessment.

Working together, the two companies say they will combine their expertise and resources to create a “one-stop shop” of support services to help state and territorial governments in the US deliver affordable high-speed broadband to all their citizens.

FarrPoint has opened its new office in Boston, Massachusetts, and services on offer will include design, connectivity mapping, procurement exercises and deployment assurance. This will use federal funding across multiple broadband initiatives, including the broadband equity access and deployment (BEAD) programme.

Vernonburg Group is already advising the State of Vermont’s Community Broadband Board (VCBB) on the development of its BEAD Five Year Action Plan, Digital Equity Plan and BEAD Initial Proposals.

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Vernonburg Group CEO and founder Paul Garnett said: “Affordable high-speed internet connectivity is now essential to everyday life. Unprecedented funding for broadband has created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring affordable high-speed connectivity to every unserved and underserved household in the US, as well as programmes that increase adoption of digital services. With this funding, universal and affordable high-speed connectivity can be achieved. We are excited to partner with FarrPoint and leverage our combined expertise to help state and territorial governments get the most out of available broadband funds.”

Andrew Muir, CEO and founder of FarrPoint, said: “Improved digital connectivity is vital to support growing economic activity and sustain communities, and that’s equally true on both sides of the Atlantic. Our extensive experience in the UK and Canada stands us in good stead to support the US market.

“We’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge on the selection of broadband suppliers through major procurement programmes, together with the deployment management that follows,” he said. “Signing a contract is not the end of the job, and both grant holders and supplier recipients need to be prepared for the challenges of roll-out. Our knowledge and experience of these stages will help US states and territories meet these challenges ahead. Partnering with Vernonburg Group will allow us to deliver our breadth of experience to new US clients.”

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