Vermont Telecom Authority 2008 Grant Winners

For Release: April 22, 2008, Montpelier, Vermont

The 2008 Broadband Grant winners were announced today by the Vermont Telecommunications Authority.

Canaan/Norton, Canaan/Norton – $50000
EC Fiber (planning), 25 Towns – $25000
Global Net, Fletcher & surrounding area??? ?- $50000
Powershift, Elmore, Hardwick – $20000
Ripton Broadband Coop, Ripton – $25000
SVBC, Stamford – $30000

The Vermont Legislature has funded the Broadband Grant Program for four years. Last year it was funded with a $200,000 allocation. The goal of the Program is to create demonstration projects to test viable models for providing broadband to all Vermonters. The Authority was looking for creative ways to extend affordable high-speed Internet access to the unserved and under-served areas of the state and it found them.

Utilizing the changes put forth into this year?s grant program, the VTA grant committee has targeted some innovating technology in the effort to bring high speed Internet access to Vermonters. This year?s grants will utilize Wi-Fi hot spots in the towns of Elmore and Hardwick, fund a town cooperative in Stamford, provide wireless access in Canaan/Norton and Ripton, provide funds to a wireless service provider to utilize a Mt. Mansfield tower in order to reach Fletcher and surrounding towns in northwest Vermont, and to provide planning for a FTTH project in Central Vermont. In all, $200,000 was spread across Vermont.

Winners were selected on the basis of a detailed review and selection process. The selection committee includes several members of the Telecommunications Authority?s Board of Directors, and representatives from the Department of Economic Development and the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Jerry Johnson, Chair of the Broadband Grant Sub Committee of the VTA, said ?There were more and better applicants for the grants this year than in the past reflecting the growing demand by Vermonters for high speed Internet access. Access is essential to our state?s economic development, health services, educational programs and first responders. All these applicants will serve those Vermonters who are in need.?

The applications were judged using several criteria. Among them were: a strong public-private partnership use of the grants as seed money to attract additional funds or contributions availability to everyone in a covered area.

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