Grant of $4.1 million for broadband group
DEERFIELD VALLEY - The Vermont Community Broadband Board, the new state board charged with overseeing broadband development in Vermont, recently approved DVFiber’s $4.1 million grant request. DVFiber can now move ahead with its partner Great Works Internet Inc., of Biddeford, ME, to secure high-speed broadband access for its 24 member towns.
The funding enables DVFiber to proceed with the design and engineering of a high-speed fiber-optic network that will reach all unserved and underserved homes and businesses within its 24 member towns. This funding includes preparation of a high-level detailed design, engineering, and preparation of utility poles in the Phase I towns of Halifax, Marlboro, Readsboro, Stamford, Wardsboro, and Whitingham. These towns are within the communications union district with the most unserved and underserved addresses.
DVFiber expects to connect with its first customers by the second half of 2022, to expand construction to most other areas in 2023, and to complete construction to all unserved and underserved premises by the end of 2024.
The federal government funding comes to Vermont through the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act and is being awarded through the VCBB to provide universal access to high-speed Internet. DVFiber will apply to the VCBB in early 2022 for additional federal funding to begin Phase I network construction as soon as possible. Phase II construction, including the towns of Brattleboro, Brookline, Dover, Dummerston, Guilford, Jamaica, Londonderry, Newfane, Putney, Searsburg, Stratton, Townshend, Vernon, Westminster, Weston, Wilmington, Windham, and Winhall, will follow immediately thereafter.