Vermont to receive $229 million from the feds for broadband buildout

Vermont Business Magazine President Joe Biden today announced that Vermont will receive $229 million to expand access to broadband in the state. The funds are part of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, which will provide $42.45 billion nationwide for planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs across the country.

“Ensuring access to broadband is incredibly important to our work to revitalize communities in every corner of Vermont. This significant funding boost builds on the historic investments and progress we’ve made over the last three years, which is very good news,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I appreciate the continued support from President Biden and Congress for broadband as a vital infrastructure investment.”

“This country once made a historic effort to bring electricity to rural America,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders. “Today we must make every effort to do the same for broadband. In the year 2023, high-speed internet must be treated as the new electricity – a fundamental and essential public utility for every member of the community no matter their income or geography. I look forward to seeing this historic investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which we passed in the Senate in August 2021, bring quality broadband to hard-to-reach pockets of Vermont that have gone without internet for too long.”

“We have a real opportunity to transform rural America, in large part thanks to the Biden Administration’s commitment to rural broadband. This essential service – which is key to running a successful small business, connecting with family, and getting medical care in small towns – is also key to revitalizing our rural communities. We cannot be left behind in the digital transformation, and this funding will ensure that isn’t the case,” said Sen. Peter Welch. “It was an honor to champion this critical program in the bipartisan infrastructure law last Congress, and it’s a great joy to see these resources – nearly $230 million– now come home to Vermont. I will continue to fight for the expeditious build out of broadband here in Vermont and across America to get folks in rural communities connected.”

“We can’t connect our communities to the jobs, education, health care, and other resources they need without equitable access to broadband,” said Congresswoman Becca Balint.I’m grateful to the Biden Administration’s historic investment to ensure every corner of Vermont is connected to affordable, reliable broadband.” 

“The VCBB is extremely grateful for Vermont’s allocation. We’d like to thank President Biden and Vermont’s Congressional Delegation for these federal dollars. This is a huge step toward our goal of getting all Vermonters connected to broadband,” said VCBB Executive Director Christine Hallquist.

“These federal funds will expand educational opportunities, grow our economy, and improve access to healthcare services for all Vermonters, regardless of where they live. This investment also ensures Vermont’s competitiveness as a prime relocation destination in the era of remote work. This is a significant milestone in Vermont’s ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide and grow our economy,” said Vermont State Treasurer Mike Pieciak.

“This infusion of federal dollars for broadband investment in Vermont is historic in scale and monumental in what it promises for the future prosperity of our state” said Public Service Department Commissioner June Tierney. “This is the kind of beneficial transformation that is possible when clear-sighted executive and legislative leadership combine to help government help the people by empowering the tireless volunteers of Vermont’s communications union districts and the communities they represent. Today’s announced investment will pay dividends in Vermont for generations to come, thanks to the productive engagement of our tireless CUD volunteers, the partnership of the incumbent providers, and the steadfast leadership of the Vermont Community Broadband Board. Universal broadband service for all Vermonters is the goal, and the funding announced today is a huge step forward in getting us there.”  

Work is underway on the five-year plan to put Vermont’s BEAD allocation to work for all Vermonters. The plan will be available for public comment next month.

Source: 6.26.2023. Montpelier, Vermont – Vermont Department of Public Service