The state of Vermont has announced $48 million in new grants to support projects in several communities, increasing the Vermont Community Broadband Board’s (VCBB) total commitment to broadband projects to nearly $100 million.
Vermont is just one of many states that are announcing broadband funding programs. Others that have announced recently include North Carolina, Arizona, and Maryland. Some programs are funded, at least in part, through programs created in the ARPA and the CARES Act. More federal broadband money will flow to the states once the BEAD program gets underway.
With the latest grants in Vermont, CVFiber, DVFiber, Maple Broadband and NEK Broadband received funds for construction projects, and a $441,000 pre-construction grant was awarded to Otter Creek.
Each of the grants went to Communications Union Districts (CUDs). CUDs now represent 208 of Vermont’s 252 communities. The CUDs are building publicly owned fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) infrastructure in the rural areas of the state yet to be served by for-profit carriers.
The VCBB was established in 2021 to accelerate community broadband deployment. The funds that VCBB provides have helped build the capacity and oversight capabilities of the CUDs, and will now back the construction of the backbone network that will support universal 100/100 Mbps service to all Vermonters living in the CUDs that have been awarded construction grants.
“This next round of grants shows our continued progress towards delivering reliable broadband service to every corner of our state,” said Vermont Gov. Phil Scott in a prepared statement.“Broadband is a critical key that opens communities to so many opportunities, and it is our responsibility to work towards connecting more Vermonters, which in turn will grow our economy.”