WILMINGTON- Last month, the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) awarded $104,000 to FairPoint Communications for expansion of broadband Internet to four roads in Wilmington. These funds will enable FairPoint to install DSL in 11 addresses that are currently without connectivity.
Gov. Peter Shumlin has made broadband connectivity for all Vermonters a top priority, setting the end of 2013 as a deadline. While the whole state may not reach that goal within the next month, this is the second time in 2013 that FairPoint has been granted funding for projects in Wilmington. In February, $295,750 was awarded to FairPoint Communications to expand DSL service in Brattleboro, Bennington, and in Wilmington on Boonesboro Drive, Bossert Road, Haynes Road, Kirby Drive, Old Ark Road, and Tessahok Lane.
This round of funding will include 11 addresses on Boyd Hill Road, Old Mill Lane, Rader Road, and Riley Boyd Road. Wilmington got on board with the project in September, after taking part in a teleconference PowerPoint presentation with Caro Thompson, the VTA’s broadband outreach coordinator.
“These roads are typically not served because they’re lower populated areas,” said Murphy. “We’re happy to get all the help we can, and this is obviously a big help, especially to the individuals living on those roads.”
The VTA determines where to allot funds based on a survey conducted every six months by the Public Service Department. The survey asks the state’s Internet providers who they serve, what services they provide,. and where. This information is put onto the state broadband data and development project coverage map, which tells the VTA the addresses of those without service. The VTA then puts out a notice of available grant funding with a list of addresses, for providers in those territories to apply for.
Murphy said that while any and all extension of broadband helps the state and town’s goals, the selectboard has a list of roads such as Parsons Road and Shearer Hill Road, where they would like to see even more expansion. “Without increased coverage, they’re still living in the 1990s with dial-up,” said Murphy. “We’d like to see it extended further, but any little bit helps as far as we’re concerned.”
The completion date for the project is June 30, 2014.