Vermont secures $3.1M to expand broadband availability

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced on Wednesday that the state has received additional funding to extend broadband service into more of the state's hard to reach areas.

Shumlin, who spearheaded the Connect Vermont group that's led by Karen Marshall, said that the $3.1 million in funding by the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) will be used to serve 2,850 locations throughout the state.

The VTA funding comes at a time when two of the state's incumbent service providers, FairPoint (Nasdaq: FRP) and Vermont Telephone Company (Vtel), are expanding broadband.

In June, FairPoint allocated $6.6 million to extend broadband DSL service to 19 rural communities in Vermont, including Chelsea and Washington. Later, in July, it secured a $2.2 million grant under the FCC's Connect America Fund (CAF)  to extend broadband service in 53 Vermont towns that don't have broadband access.

VTel, however, has taken an even more aggressive approach to the broadband availability problem by building out its hybrid wireless/wireline Wireless Open World (WOW) network. Upon completion, VTel's Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network will provide 1 Gbps speed services to over 15,000 customers throughout southern Vermont.

For more:
- AP via The Boston Globe has this article

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