Grants Available to Vermont ISPs Willing to Improve Broadband Access

MONTPELIER, VT – The Public Service Department in the state of Vermont issued a request for proposals (RFP) under the new Connectivity Initiative inviting Internet service providers (ISPs) to submit proposals to provide Internet services at prescribed levels to locations identified by the department as needing improved access to broadband Internet service. The department will award grants to organizations willing to serve these areas. The department will utilize up to $963,350 in available funding to support the extension of broadband facilities in underserved communities.

“The Connectivity Initiative will play an important role in continuing Vermont’s effort to bridge the connectivity divide between rural and urban communities, stated Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia. “We hope that through the Connectivity Initiative we can increase the speed and quality of broadband service in Vermont’s hardest-to-reach areas. Any technology will be accepted, so long as it meets the minimum service characteristics contained in the RFP."

Higher-than-Required Service Levels Being Encouraged
To initiate the process, the department identified over 1,700 locations eligible for support through this first round of funding. The lowest acceptable speed for funding under this RFP is 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload, but the department encourages solutions that provide higher levels of service. “We want to bring these communities the best quality broadband service we can with our funding,” stated Recchia.

A copy of the RFP, along with a list of eligible locations, can be obtained at the Public Service Department The proposal deadline is March 18, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.

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