“Expanding reliable broadband access to Vermont’s rural communities is so important in our work to increase economic and educational opportunities and enhance public safety for all Vermonters,” stated Vermont Governor Phil Scott. $700,000 in grants are available to further that goal, reports the Eagle Times.
Recently passed legislation created the Broadband Innovation Grant to extend broadband outreach across the state. Individual grants will be available for $60,000 each. The first round application period is open until October 25. The state’s director of the Telecommunications and Connectivity Division of the Department of Public Service, Clay Purvis, hopes the grants will spur the growth of organizations that will help get communities connected.
Purvis cited East Central Vermont Telecommunications District (ECFiber) as a desirable model for other businesses. EC Fiber now has 10 years of experience in setting up internet service in small communities. June Tierney, Public Service Commissioner, stated: “The Department of Public Service looks forward to seeing new ideas generated through this program, and we hope that these grants will jump-start new broadband projects throughout the state.”
Applicants must strive to provide internet download speeds of at least 25 mbps and three mbps upload speeds in communities that currently have poor or no internet service. Eligible applicants include nonprofits, for-profits, cooperatives, communications union districts, and government entities.
August 13, 2019