July 07, 2014
Vermont's VTel Launches Rural Wireless and Fiber Network
By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer
The beautiful landscape of Vermont is famous for its mountains, trees and a winter wonderland few places in the world can match. While these are all positive qualities, when it comes to deploying fiber infrastructure for high-speed Internet, these very qualities make the job that much harder, especially in rural areas. This generally means companies look to partner with local, state and federal entities to deploy the infrastructure so it can be profitable. As one of the telecoms serving Vermont, VTel, a family-owned company serving Vermonters since 1890, has announced the rollout of a statewide high-speed communications network that will serve segments of rural Vermont.
This announcement is part of a process that began in 2010 when the company received $92 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, which was administered by the Rural Utilities Service and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to improve telecommunications infrastructure in Vermont. Prior to receiving the government funds, the company invested approximately $160 million into its network, including wireless and fiber capabilities.
With an investment of more than a quarter of a billion dollars in place, the company began deploying fiber-to-the-home to 16,000 homes and businesses, wireless broadband to most of rural Vermont, and fiber to institutions like schools and hospitals statewide.
The new deployment will provide a wireless network reaching 20,000 homes and businesses in 24 towns across Vermont, including Berlin, Barnet, Grand Isle, Hardwick, Manchester, St. Albans, and Windsor
Vermont representatives at the local, state and federal level are looking to rank the state first in broadband availability in the country. According to the office of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sander, the state ranked 35th when the project started in 2010, and they are hoping this progress will continue to improve the technological footprint of the state so it can keep up with a very competitive East Coast corridor.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson
More Dark Fiber Community Stories