Vermont State Flag

The Vermont Community Broadband Board has approved amendments totaling approximately $20 million to increase broadband grant funding for two communications union districts (CUDs).

CUDs are groups of towns in the state that work together to obtain broadband buildouts to unserved areas within the CUD.

The decision to up the funding was made via vote of the VCBB on July 18.

Maple Broadband will receive $2.1 million more for its buildouts and NEK Broadband will receive $17.9 million more for its buildouts. A spokesperson for the VCBB confirmed the grant amendments in response to an email from Telecompetitor.

The funding came through the ARPA-SFR (State Fiscal Recovery) fund, the spokesperson said.

Vermont Broadband Grants

NEK previously received a $16 million grant from the VCBB in 2022 that was subsequently increased by $5 million. The same year, the CUD won $17 million in funding through the USDA ReConnect program.

Prior to that, NEK won broadband funding through the CARES Act.

The CUD is making progress toward amassing the $165 million to $185 million that it said previously that it expects to need to achieve the goal of making high-speed broadband available throughout the entire area.

NEK has worked with local provider Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) on its builds. WCVT can trace its roots back over 100 years.

WCVT also has been responsible for Maple Broadband builds, with WCVT owning the infrastructure within its home turf, while the CUD owns the infrastructure outside those areas.

The VCBB awarded the partnership at least $9.1 million in 2022.

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One thought on “Vermont Ups Broadband Grants, Putting Two CUDs Closer to Deployment Goals

  1. Northeast Kingdom is the poorest and least dense part of the state, as well as having particularly challenging terrain (for both fiber and FWA). It’s great to see that they will have broadband service, but the cost per premise passed is going to be astronomical and the take rate low and dependent on ACP.

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