Vermont will receive more than $90 million for broadband projects, the U.S. Treasury Department announced yesterday.
The money comes from the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF), and will be used to connect nearly 14,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet.
The announcement follows a similar one earlier this month, when the Treasury Department approved broadband projects in Massachusetts, Michigan and Wisconsin, awarding them a total of $435 million.
The $90 million for broadband infrastructure award for Vermont is expected to connect 13,818 households and businesses – representing nearly a quarter (22%) of locations still lacking high-speed internet access.
Vermont’s funds will be used for the Vermont Community Broadband Construction Grant Program, a formula grant program supporting the construction of locally defined and prioritized broadband infrastructure projects through a system of regional Communication Union Districts (CUDs).
Each CUD funding amount was determined based on the percentage of road segments without existing access to high-speed wireline facilities. The Broadband Construction Grant Program is designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to households and businesses.
Vermont’s plan submitted to Treasury represents four-fifths of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program.
The CPF is providing $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states and Tribal governments to fund critical broadband capital projects.
“The pandemic exposed longstanding challenges that workers and families face when they don’t have adequate access to the internet, especially those living in rural areas and other unconnected communities,” said Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, in a prepared statement. “This funding through the American Rescue Plan will help provide affordable, high-speed internet service to communities across Vermont, including the most rural parts of the state. We commend Vermont for targeting this funding to places where it is most urgently needed.”