VTA Announces Expansion of VTel Wireless 4G Wireless Service in Southeast Vermont

Release Date: 
August 8, 2011 (All day)

Montpelier — The Vermont Telecommunications Authority and VTel  Wireless have reached an agreement regarding Target Communities selected to receive broadband services.

By November 2012, VTel Wireless will provide broadband accessibility to Backroads Broadband Target Communities within the towns of Newfane, Westminster, Stratton and Wardsboro.  Equipment installed to service these Target Communities will also provide expanded broadband coverage to areas within the towns of Putney, Townshend, and Dummerston. More than 1600 addresses will have access to the new service, which will provide broadband service that supports the delivery of services with an upload speed of at least one megabit per second and combined download and upload speeds equal to or greater than five megabits per second.

In March, 2011 the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) announced its intention to award the $2,065,000 grant to VTel Wireless to provide broadband in unserved areas in southern Vermont through its Backroads Broadband Program.  This announcement signals the finalization of the agreement between the state authority and the Springfield, Vermont-based company.  The grant funding was made available through a state appropriation in the Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2010.

“This project will address gaps in broadband service in southeast Vermont that would be very difficult to reach without state assistance.” said Christopher Campbell, Executive Director of the VTA. “The communities included within the project will benefit from a leading-edge fourth-generation wireless broadband network.”

Availability of the VTel service in the selected Target Communities also will support the marriage between broadband infrastructure and SmartGrid by expanding infrastructure Vermont electric utilities will be able to use when communicating with smart meters.

In August 2010, VTel Wireless was awarded federal stimulus grant and loans through the Rural Utilities Service to build a wireless broadband network that will provide fourth-generation (4G) wireless broadband service to wide areas of Vermont. While the RUS- project will greatly increase the number of rural Vermont homes which will be able to get broadband service, the network will not cover all unserved locations. The VTA grant to VTel Wireless will be used to fund equipment to extend the new broadband service into adjacent unserved areas.  The VTA-funded facilities will also increase available broadband speeds available around the newly funded facilities.