Flume uses dark fiber to bring fast internet to more people

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This is the worst thing – in major cities, about 30% of homes have fiber optic cable running past the house due to local cellular or corporate customer, but a bunch of people are still using dial-up speeds. Flum Internet uses underused fiber bandwidth to bring high-speed Internet access to more people, including the New York City Housing Authority, its partner in providing high-speed Internet access to a population that has not traditionally been a priority for telcos.

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The company’s goal is to use its smaller asset approach and enter more than 20 markets in the next few years with infrastructure partners and asset owners. Much of its mission is to connect underconnected areas. The company’s anchor client in New York is NYCHA, which has hundreds of homes connected to Flume through the government’s Affordable Connectivity Program. The company has enjoyed rapid growth since the pandemic as many cities and multi-family owners want cheaper, higher-speed options. The main part of their vision is to accelerate the construction of fiber in the remaining 60% of residential buildings in the country without the participation of a telecom operator.

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The company estimates that only about 9% of homes have true fiber-to-the-home connectivity—in other words, the entire network between your home and the provider’s data center is fiber optic.

Flume has developed a compact edge data center that allows it to serve thousands of gigabit clients from a single data center rack. They are using this technology to plan and power broadband access over unused or “dark” fiber optic cables in cities across the US to bring home broadband capabilities to residences and multi-family homes at a fraction of the cost. The company claims that in most cities, there are 10-15 unused fibers for every residential building. Its goal is to become the largest fiber optic ISP in the US that still controls the path of packets from the end consumer to the data center, meaning it doesn’t buy or resell last mile traffic.

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Flume raised $3.5 million in funding late last year but decided to announce the round now. Amplo and Hyperplane.vc jointly led the round with contributions from Citi Impact Fund and The Fund NY.

The company’s service is now available in “thousands” of homes, and plans to have more than 20,000 homes available by the end of the year.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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