Vermont Telecom Authority terminates $3.1 million in broadband grants to VTel

VTel is the latest service provider to get caught up in a broadband funding debacle as the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) terminated two grants to bring broadband to 900 locations.

VTA said the $3.1 million in grants were terminated over a disagreement on a deadline to expand the service.

In 2011 and 2012, the VTA made two awards to VTel's wireless division. After requesting to extend the first contract beyond the Nov. 30, 2012 deadline, VTA said that it was unable to reach an agreement with VTel Wireless.

With the funds still present, VTA has been reaching out to other service providers that would like to provide services for their broadband project. It has completed one funding cycle and anyone who is interested to participate in the next round have until April 15 to submit an application.

Michel Guite, according to a Vermont Public Radio report, said the issue VTel had with VTA is related to a requirement that it had to build a separate network to deliver broadband wireless services to 630 customers versus including them in its broader project, which was funded with an $81 million federal broadband stimulus grant.

VTel itself is building out a hybrid wireless/wireline Wireless Open World (WOW) network.

Upon completion, VTel's fiber to the home (FTTH) network will provide 1 Gbps services to over 15,000 customers throughout southern Vermont.

The state has set an ambitious goal to provide broadband services throughout the state by the end of 2013.

For more:
- Burlington Free Press has this article
- here's VTA's release

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