Governor, Connect VT announce broadband progress for target communities
Governor Peter Shumlin and Karen Marshall, chief of Connect VT, today announced the approval of more than $3.1 million in funding commitments by the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, which combined with $6.6 million planned by FairPoint will bring broadband service by the end of 2013 to more than 2,850 locations across Vermont. This latest round of five VTA funding commitments within the last 90 days will bring last-mile service to 544 locations in designated target communities.
“We have a goal of universal broadband by the end of 2013. The total grant and docket commitments of $9.7 million over the past 90 days will bring Connect VT within striking distance of achieving that goal with our telecommunications providers,” said Shumlin. “These locations within 59 target communities are the toughest to reach and we are putting state capital to work to connect them.”
Marshall said, “We have two groups of unserved locations in Vermont. The first group includes areas where a project is already in progress as a result of federal funding. The second is locations that were identified by Connect VT and are going to receive service as a result of these awards and the FairPoint docket commitment.”
She said the number of unserved locations dropped from 21,243 in June of last year to just over 16,000 by year’s end. “These grants will close the gap and put projects in the pipeline to connect Vermonters.”
· VTel Wireless was awarded a grant of $1,347,840 to expand broadband services in 19 Vermont communities.
· An additional 306 locations in Arlington, Bennington, Braintree, Brattleboro, Chittenden, Corinth, Danville, Dover, Dummerston, Lyndon, Pittsford, Pownal, Putney, Randolph, Shaftsbury, St. Johnsbury, Westminister, Whitingham and Wilmington will have access to broadband.
· FairPoint Communications received $330,200 to expand broadband services in three Vermont communities; and an additional 44 locations in Barnet, Ryegate and Rochester will have access to broadband.
· Earlier VTA awards were made to Comcast for $247,000 for 56 locations in areas of Shaftsbury, Pownal and Braintree and $378,200 to Topsham Telephone for 138 locations in areas of Topsham and Bradford.
The project is scheduled to be completed prior to December 31, 2013.
Source: Governor's office. 9.4.2012