Consolidated Communications expects to complete work by November 1 on a Vermont broadband deployment project funded, in part, by the state. The project is being done through a public-private partnership with the Southern Vermont (SoVT) communications union district (CUD).
When completed, that CUD will be the first in the state to achieve universal broadband coverage.
Communications union districts are groups of towns in the state that work together to obtain broadband for their communities.
The SoVT CUD received a $9 million grant from the Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) in October, 2022. When deployment it is completed, multi-gigabit service will be brought to all homes and businesses in the towns of Arlington, Bennington, Dorset, Landgrove, Londonderry, Manchester, Peru, Pownal, Rupert, Sandgate, Shaftsbury, Sunderland, Winhall and Woodford.
Consolidated Vermont Public-Private Partnership
“Today’s milestone is an important one relative to the lasting social and economic impact it will have for our region.” SoVT CUD chair Eric Hatch said during a ribbon cutting on August 9. “Likened to rural electrification, universal rural broadband will allow Bennington County and the CUD member towns to not only compete with cities in the U.S., but across the globe.”
Rob Fish, the deputy director of the VCBB, also spoke at the ceremony. He pointed to access to healthcare and education, building the resiliency of the communities and being better able to access renewable and efficient energy.
The project is expected to be completed by November 1. Residential customers will have access to Consolidated Communications Fidium brand, which provides symmetrical options from 50 Mbps to 2 Gbps starting at $35 per month without contracts. Fidium offers VoIP and streaming options. Businesses will have access to Fidium@Work.
Consolidated Communications also operates in California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Texas.
The grant from VCBB to the SoVT CUD was to bring broadband to 6,412 addresses – 1,300 of which are underserved – in southern Vermont.
At the same time that SoVT won its funding, the VCBB made a $9.1 million award to the Maple Broadband CUD and the Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) and an $8.35 million award to WCVT to upgrade underserved addresses not in a CUD.