Vt. hopes grants will increase broadband

Published: 8/11/2019 9:11:33 PM

MONTPELIER (AP) — The state of Vermont is hoping to generate more efforts to get broadband to underserved rural areas with a grant program to help pay groups for feasibility studies and to create business plans.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott and the state Public Service Department announced the first of three rounds of funding last week.

A total of $700,000 in grants is available — with $60,000 awarded per grant winner.

“Expanding reliable broadband access to Vermont’s rural communities is so important in our work to increase economic and educational opportunities and enhance public safety for all Vermonters,” Scott said.

The grants would go to groups including nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, cooperatives, communications union districts and other government entities, the state said.

Strategies to be studied may include the partnerships or the creation of cooperatives, communications union districts, municipal communications plants or utilities, the state said.

Public Service Commissioner Julie Tierney said the department hopes that “the grants will jumpstart new broadband projects” throughout Vermont.

“The Department of Public Service looks forward to seeing new ideas generated through this program, and we hope that these grants will jumpstart new broadband projects throughout the state,” Public Service Commissioner June Tierney said in a statement.

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