For immediate release
March 15, 2012
Montpelier, Vermont (March 14, 2012) – The Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) has announced a Notice of Grant Funds in the sum of $3.6 million for broadband expansion in Vermont. The purpose of the grants is to extend broadband service availability where it is currently not offered and where no provider has already committed to bring broadband by the end of 2013.
Funding for the grants was appropriated by the Legislature in the FY2012-2013 Capital Budget. Awarded projects will be required to provide service with a combined upload and download speed of at least 5 megabits per second.
Grants will be available to providers who expand broadband service in Target Communities. Eligible Target Communities for this grant round will be designated shortly by the Agency of Administration. The list of Target Communities is being compiled using data that was collected from providers through Vermont’s Broadband Mapping Initiative. Additional input from providers, who have committed to expand service areas by year-end 2013, completed the picture of which communities will be served in Vermont. The remaining unserved communities will be identified as Target Communities.
In the past, the high cost to bring broadband to the state’s last rural pockets has been a disincentive to providers. This round of VTA grants provides substantial incentives that reduce providers’ capital outlays and strengthen the business case to reach last mile homes. VTA Executive Director, Christopher Campbell says of the Notice of Grant Funding, “Vermont is closing in on its goal of universal availability of broadband service. These grant funds will target the remaining unserved homes and businesses in the state that are not already included in a funded project.”
The Notice is available on the VTA website. All proposals are due to the VTA by 4:30 pm April, 17, 2012. Projects are to be completed on or before December 31, 2013.