30 V.S.A. § 202e (e) directs the Department to prepare a map and narrative description of each of the following:
- the areas served and the areas not served by broadband that has a download speed of at least 4 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbps, and cost estimates for providing such service to unserved areas;
- the areas served and the areas not served by broadband that has a download speed of at least 25 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 3 Mbps, or as defined by the FCC in its annual report to Congress required by section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, whichever is higher, and the cost estimates for providing such service to unserved areas;
- the areas served and the areas not served by broadband that has a download speed of at least 100 Mbps and is symmetrical, and the cost estimates for providing such service to unserved areas; and
- if monetarily feasible, the areas served and the areas not served by wireless communications service, and cost estimates for providing such service to unserved areas. (Added 2015, No. 41, § 4.)
On August 14, 2015 the Department requested that broadband internet providers operating in Vermont submit information about the locations that had access to service at these speeds as of June 30, 2015, pursuant to this statute. For cable television providers, the Department employed the cable route maps submitted with cable provider annual reports, and the analysis includes data from all cable companies including Comcast and Charter. The incumbent telephone companies provided either road or address data, and the analysis includes data from all telephone companies except FairPoint. FairPoint provided address data, but only for locations that have access at 768/200 so this data was not incorporated into the analysis. The analysis does include FairPoint locations with service funded by the Connect America Fund Phase I, and also locations supported by VTA-funded grants. It also includes information from competitive providers ECFiber and Burlington Telecom. The only wireless company included in the analysis is Cloud Alliance.
The Department retained Stone Environmental, a firm with expertise in data mapping and analysis, to compile and analyze the information. Based on the information submitted by the service providers, Stone calculated availability for each service provider at each of the 304,875 building locations in the state.* The 100/100 map depicts roads that are served by retail fiber to the home networks. Locations within 500’ of these roads are considered served in the accompanying statistics. The 25/3 map includes this information and also depicts roads that are served by cable providers. Locations within 500’ of these roads are considered served in the accompanying statistics. Unlike the other two maps that depict roads served, the 4/1 map depicts locations served, and includes the information from the 25/3 map and also depicts locations served by DSL and fixed wireless providers.
Based on the information identified and summarized in these statistics, the PSD released a set of locations conditionally eligible for the 2016 Connectivity Initiative RFP. Several Broadband Service Providers contested the service status of many locations. The PSD processed these claims and updated the locations eligible for service and the broadband availablity statistics. The information in the reports is summarized in the table below:
|Speed Tier||Served||Not Served|
Broadband Statistics (Updated 8/4/16) NOTE: see updated data above
Broadband Statistics (posted 5/1/16) NOTE: see updated data above
100/100 Map (April, 2016) NOTE: see updated map above
25/3 Map (April, 2016) NOTE: see updated map above
4/1 Map (April, 2016) NOTE: see updated map above
* Stone first excluded E-911 locations that are not buildings, such as fire hydrants and recreational fields. The specific E-911 Site Types treated as buildings are listed in the report. This analysis relies on the Vermont E-911 public location database which treats multi-unit dwellings such as office buildings and apartment buildings as a single unit. Therefore it does not account for population like other analyses that employ census household data do.