Maple Broadband launches service in Addison County area

Vermont Business Magazine Maple Broadband has connected its first customers to high-speed, fiber optic internet and has launched service in its initial build area. Maple Broadband leadership, government officials, and new Maple Broadband customers held a press conference Wednesday at the Cornwall Town Hall to announce the milestone.

Maple Broadband’s initial build area consists of 25.7 miles and 304 passings in the towns of Cornwall, Middlebury, and Salisbury. Nine customers were connected during its soft launch. 62 more people have already signed up for service and will be connected next.

“We are extremely happy with our new fiber optic internet service. Our residents are now able to visit with their relatives at any time of the day and at any location throughout Shard Villa’s facility. As an elder care facility, we rely heavily on being able to have Tele Med appointments, place pharmacy orders, and transfer necessary resident data to primary care physicians. With this improvement we’ve been able to do all these things seamlessly and without interruption where previously it wasn’t possible. Thank you, Maple Broadband, for helping bring Shard Villa up to speed in the 21st century. Columbus Smith would be pleased,” said Davis Brakeley, Shard Villa Residential Care Home Building Supervisor and Board Member.

“Reliable, affordable internet access is a necessity for work, education, health care, and nearly every aspect of everyday life,” said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “But for too long, investment has focused on larger, more populated areas, leaving out the small rural towns and communities that make up most of Vermont. I am glad to see Maple Broadband helping to bring affordable, high-speed internet to some of the most rural areas of Addison County.”

“I am so pleased to see Maple Broadband connecting its first customers and that so many have signed up,” said Senator Peter Welch (D-VT). “Efforts like this help expand access to high-speed, quality broadband for all Vermonters. That’s critical for growing our businesses, supporting Vermont students, expanding access to telehealth, and keeping our communities connected. I applaud Maple Broadband and thank them for all they are doing to help close the digital divide.”

“This is a major milestone in our work to connect all Vermonters to broadband. Congratulations to Maple Broadband on this achievement and your continued progress,” said Rob Fish, Deputy Director of the Vermont Community Broadband Board.

"After working to craft the legislation establishing the Vermont Broadband Board and communications union district grant programs, I'm thrilled that high-speed internet is finally coming to more Addison County towns. Thanks to the diligence and perseverance of Maple Broadband's volunteer board and staff members and their partnership with state leaders, residents of Addison County will be better able to access work, education, and services from their homes. Congratulations to everyone involved!" said Senator Ruth Hardy (D) Addison District.

“Being recently connected to Maple Broadband for over three weeks now, we can honestly say that our life has changed in a positive way. Prior to joining Maple Broadband, we thought about our internet all the time coming up with excuses for why we couldn’t use video and regularly lost connection during Zoom meetings; why we couldn’t stream movies without losing connection numerous times over the course of just one movie; and why we couldn’t use multiple devices, to name a few. Now we rarely think about it other than acknowledging our gratefulness for having consistent and dependable service that we’re sure most people take for granted. Many thanks to Maple Broadband for bringing us into the 21st century,” said Maple Broadband customer and Select Board member Don Burns of Cornwall, Vermont.

Maple Broadband plans to lay more than 100 miles of fiber in 2023. Service is coming later this year to additional parts of Cornwall and Salisbury, the majority of Shoreham, portions of Orwell and Whiting, a small corner of northwest Leicester.

“We’re so proud to have launched service, and we’re not slowing down. As we work toward serving everyone in our district, one of our biggest goals is raising money. The more money we can raise as grants, the faster we can build our network to reach more people. Just as important, more grant funding reduces the debt we’ll have to take on, which will help reduce prices for customers and assist with our affordability initiatives. We’d like to say a big thank you to all the towns in our district that have already contributed ARPA funds: Bridport, Cornwall, Ferrisburgh, Monkton, Panton, Ripton, Salisbury, Waltham, and Weybridge. Your support is pivotal in our effort to bring broadband to our district at affordable prices,” said Maple Broadband Executive Director Ellie de Villiers.

“Salisbury’s membership in Maple Broadband was initiated due to the poor quality of internet service in our town, especially the west side of Route 7. Maple Broadband’s partnership with Waitsfield Telecom has enabled the installation of high-speed fiber in portions of Salisbury, with more to follow. The donation of $30,000 from the town’s ARPA allocation increases our commitment to the mission of high-speed internet to all homes and businesses in Salisbury,” said Salisbury Select Board Chair Paul Vaczy.

You can view Maple Broadband’s service information by visiting maplebroadband.net/services.

About Maple Broadband: Maple Broadband is a Communications Union District (CUD) based in Addison County. Maple Broadband’s mission is to enhance the economic, educational, and medical well-being of the communities it serves by providing a reliable and affordable high-speed fiber internet network, supported by premium-grade customer service, to the households and businesses in its member towns. CUDs are non-profit, municipal entities formed with the single goal of delivering high-speed fiber broadband service to every unserved and underserved address in their member towns. CUDs cannot tax their member towns or the residents of those towns. A CUD must fund its operations by grants, debt, and donations.

2.22.2023. Cornwall, Vermont – Maple Broadband