Public Service Dept awards 2017 round of Internet grants

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Public Service Dept awards 2017 round of Internet grants

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 6:50am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Department of Public Service today announced $547,500 in grant awards to internet service providers to boost broadband internet speeds in seven rural Vermont communities. The Department awarded $72,500 to ECFiber to bring fiber optic cable service to 31 homes and businesses in the towns of Randolph, Royalton and Stockbridge. Consolidated Communications, Inc. received $175,000 to expand broadband to 162 homes and businesses in Reading, Woodstock and Whitingham. Comcast received a grant of $300,000 to bring much needed high-speed cable broadband service to 114 homes and businesses in the town of Cavendish. 

The goal of the Connectivity Initiative is to expand high-speed broadband service starting with unserved and underserved locations. “Broadband internet service is an essential part of everyday life for many Vermonters and has become vital for effective participation in modern society,” said June Tierney, Commissioner of the Department of Public Service. “Through the Connectivity Initiative, we are bringing this much-needed service to the state’s underserved communities.”  The locations included in the awards were previously identified by the Department as unserved or underserved. “It is our hope that these grants will create new opportunities in the areas of healthcare, education and economic development for the residents of the communities we are serving,” added Clay Purvis, Director of Telecommunications and Connectivity at the Department.

The Connectivity Initiative, which began in 2015, funds the expansion of broadband facilities in underserved towns. The awards were made through the competitive bidding process and were the winners among 48 projects, totaling $2,919,515.00. In making the awards, the Department sought the advice and consent of the Telecommunications and Connectivity Advisory Board, which supported the Department’s recommendations. For more information on the Connectivity Initiative, please visit the Department of Public Service at http://publicservice.vermont.gov/ .

Source: DPS: 8.4.2017

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