While 2021 presented challenges for just about everyone, it was a tremendous year for DE Fastlink. Around this time last year, our board of directors voted to expand DE Fastlink beyond our pilot project to our entire service area. We hit the ground running and began developing an aggressive construction plan for the remainder of the year. We also established a DE Fastlink Board of Managers and began community events and advertising.
Although our progress was substantial, it was met with several hurdles. Despite the onset of the COVID Delta variant and consistent supply chain issues, we still managed to cover a lot of ground by opening eight phases of our construction plan for connection and linking over 3,000 subscribers by the end of the year. The response from you, our members, has been outstanding, with over a 40% collective take rate.
As we begin 2022, we plan to move full speed ahead. We’ve added several new areas to our target map for this year and will continue to update this map as our construction plans are formed. You can view this map at defastlink.net. We’ve added additional fiber optic technicians to our team to continue to build an elite customer service experience through tech support. We are also exploring additional grant funding to help lower the cost of building the fiber infrastructure, which will be a savings passed to subscribers in the future.
Just as your membership matters, we also know that your connection matters. We thank you for your patience as we’ve worked to build this state-of-the-art system from the ground up. We look forward to the progress we intend to make this year as we continue to bring high-speed internet to areas where no one else would. We feel your excitement, and it has been a privilege to link rural communities with exceptional speed and customer service.