Vermont Landscape

Consolidated Communications is partnering with the Southern Vermont communications union district (CUD) to provide symmetrical gigabit speed broadband services to almost 12,000 Bennington County, Vermont homes by the end of the summer.

A CUD is a non-profit municipal entity that provides or aims to provide broadband in Vermont to two or more towns that are underserved or unserved. A CUD can fund operations through grants, debt and donations — but not taxes.

Consolidated said that the Bennington County project is part of its plan to expand service to 200,000 homes in the state by the end of 2025.

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The Bennington project is the first phase of the partnership between Consolidated and the Southern Vermont CUD. The ultimate goal is to serve the entire CUD, which is comprised of 14 rural towns.

In the first phase of the project, Consolidated is investing its own funds and using a subsidy from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to serve 400 of the 12,000 homes that are considered to be unserved in and near Bennington and Shaftsbury.

“Super-fast internet access is a game changer for communities,” Erik Garr, president of consumer and small business for Consolidated, said in a press release. “We’re committed to bringing fiber internet to as many homes as possible in Vermont and are grateful for the partnership of the Southern Vermont CUD for making this vision a reality. We are so excited to bring Fidium Fiber internet to Bennington County and be part of the future of this forward-thinking community.

Fidium Fiber costs $70 per month for the first year and $95 per month subsequently. It includes a whole-home mesh Wi-Fi gateway and the Attune Wi-Fi whole-home management app.

Yesterday, NEK Broadband – a CUD comprised of 45 member towns in northeastern Vermont – said that it had been awarded $15,899,089 by the Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) to make broadband available in 10 communities. The grant was awarded through the Act 71 Broadband Construction Program.

Last September, the broadband provider Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) agreed to operate a broadband network for NEK Broadband. WCVT also has an agreement with the Maple Broadband CUD.

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