Tilson Broadband is deploying a fiber broadband network that will bring service to 500 unserved or underserved residents and businesses in Danville, Lunenburg and St. Johnsbury, Vermont by December. The Vermont broadband build is supported by grants from the state.
Tilson describes itself as a national network development and information infrastructure professional services firm, but it’s role in the deployments will be bigger, as it also will act as the service provider.
The company said that the network will provide speeds ranging from 500 Mbps to 10 Gbps. There will be no data caps. The company has opened a new office and edge data center in St. Johnsbury, which has created several jobs.
Tilson was awarded grants last year from the Get Vermonters Connected Now Initiative and the COVID-19 Emergency Connectivity Initiative, which is part of the Vermont Department of Public Service. It is meant to leverage funding from The CARES Act that was passed last year in response to the pandemic.
“We are deeply committed to doing our part to solve the digital divide,” Tilson CEO Joshua Broder said in a press release about the Vermont broadband build. “By providing reliable access to remote education, clear audio- and video-conferencing, and access to telemedicine appointments to Vermonters, we hope to help enhance the quality of life for residents and businesses in the area.”
This is not the first time that the Get Vermonters Connected Now Initiative and the COVID-19 Emergency Connectivity Initiative have worked together to fund broadband. In October, 2020, the two groups provided Wireless Partners with a grant of $762,000 to connect 688 locations in the Northern Kingdom to 5G cellular and broadband.
The grant supported deployment of five sites and their connection to Wireless Partners’ existing network in New Hampshire’s North Country.
The COVID-19 pandemic may be a boon for states such as Vermont as people use increasingly sophisticated technology to work from home and rural areas. In February, PC Magazine posted a list of the 50 best work from home cities based, in part, on the quality of broadband connectivity. Pawlet, VT –which is served by Race Communications — was third on the list.