Vermont Telecom Authority Awards Broadband Grant to VTel Wireless
Montpelier- The Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) has announced an award to VTel Wireless, 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 at speeds of at least 5 Mbps meeting the grant’s requirement to offer a combined upload and download speed of 5 Mbps. The project is scheduled to be completed prior to December 31, 2013.
“VTel Wireless is currently building a leading-edge wireless broadband network across many communities in Vermont. This award will provide VTel the means to cover many more unserved pockets of homes and businesses from southern to northeastern Vermont,” said Christopher Campbell, Executive Director of the VTA.
“General evidence around America is that 4G LTE wireless broadband technology is offering speeds superior to prior expectations. Vermonters should be very pleased with the service that VTel will deliver” said Michel Guite, President of Vermont Telephone Company. “Our concerns are that there will continue to be unserved homes in Vermont. However, with the help of Governor Shumlin and the VTA, we are making tremendous progress in reaching even more homes never before served.”
The VTA made the award through the broadband grant round it announced on March 13, 2012. This grant program provides incentives to broadband providers to reach the most rural locations. Funding for the grant program was made possible by an appropriation of the Legislature in the FY2012-2013 Capital Budget requested by Governor Peter Shumlin as part of the Connect VT initiative.
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.
The list of locations eligible for the grant program was compiled using data that was collected from providers through Vermont’s Broadband Mapping Initiative. Vermonters are invited to help complete the dataset of unserved locations by reporting unserved addresses at BroadbandVT.org.