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Act 71 Construction Grant Awards

Act 71 Broadband Construction Program

The Vermont Community Broadband Board (“Board") invites applications to finance the broadband projects of Eligible Providers that are part of a Universal Service Plan. Service providers must achieve speeds of at least 100/100 Mbps symmetrical at all on-grid underserved and unserved locations within their Universal Service Plan.

Eligible applicants are (A) a Communications Union District (“CUD”); (B) a small communications carrier; or (C) an Internet service provider working in conjunction with a Communications Union District to expand broadband service to unserved and underserved locations as part of a plan to achieve universal broadband coverage in the District.

New: VCBB Construction Funding Dashboard

NEK Broadband

NEK Broadband - $38,805,525

NEK Broadband is comprised of over fifty (50) towns primarily in the Northeast Kingdom.  The Board reviewed and unanimously voted to approve NEK Broadband's construction grant request of $15,899,089, making it the first Communications Union District (CUD) in Vermont awarded through this program. The award was increased by $4,966,800 via an amendment in July 2022. The amendment will also build additional infrastructure in Danville, Lyndon, and Saint Johnsbury. Together service will be brought to 634 premises without broadband and serve 877 premises overall within the next 24 months. Together with the original construction grant of $15,899,089, the total $20,865,889 will cover 2,113 premises without broadband and 2,978 addresses overall. The award was increased again with an amendment in July 2023 of $17,939,636 to bring the total to $38,805,525. 500 project miles and 4,500 eligible addresses are now funded after the latest amendment.

"This is a watershed moment for our CUD," said NEK Broadband Governing Board Chair Evan Carlson. "We are thrilled to now have the funds in hand to get construction underway.” Early construction will be concentrated in Concord, Kirby, and Waterford, with additional miles expected in Brighton, Burke, Danville, Groton, Newark, Peacham, Groton, Ryegate, and Walden. NEK Broadband also received $6.9 million to support pre-construction work on 2,800 miles of fiber optic cable-based internet for residents and businesses in the Northeast Kingdom.



WCVT-Non CUD Towns  - $8,348,243

Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) was awarded $8,248,243 to upgrade customers towns not currently members of a Communications Union District to fiber. The project includes 257 miles of fiber upgrading 1,200 eligible addresses to fiber. WCVT will complete a full build-out of fiber in the towns of Charlotte and Bolton. WCVT will also begin partial build-out work in seven other towns. WCVT presented a phased plan to upgrade all their customers that are currently not receiving a 100/100 Mbps connection to fiber.

WCVT-Maple Broadband  - $9,104,486

WCVT was awarded a second grant in September for $9,104,486 to build out 325.57 fiber miles within the Maple Broadband CUD Universal Service Plan. The project will serve a total of 2,655 passings within the towns of Addison, Bridport, Panton, Weybridge, and Bridport; and portions of Ferrisburgh, New Haven, and Waltham.



DVFiber - $21.9M

DVFiber was awarded a $21.9 million grant award toward efforts to accomplish a Universal Service Plan that provides 100/100 Mbps service over 485 miles of fiber to 4,470 locations, of which 4,410 do not have access to reliable high-speed broadband service now. When completed, DVFiber’s Universal Service Plan will extend 100/100 service to 3,840 additional unserved and underserved locations.

Steven John, Chair of DVFiber, looked back on the long road it took to reach the stage of receiving a construction grant. “Now that we have our pre-construction tasks well in hand, with this construction grant we can proceed to hang fiber without delay and continue building out our network for the next year and more.  We are eager to connect our first unserved customers later this year. With our pre-construction grant, DVFiber has been able to stand up our organization. Through a rigorous competitive process DVFiber chose an experienced private partner to construct, operate and maintain our proposed network.  We have an approved business plan to support our high-level design for universal service across all 24 member towns. The advanced delivery of fiber cable we purchased is at our construction depot waiting for the bucket trucks to start rolling. With this construction grant we are now able to turn the caution yellow light in the yard to green, for full speed ahead.”



CVFiber - $14.2M

Central Vermont Communications Union District (CVFiber) -  CVFiber, the Communications Union District (CUD) serving Central Vermont, was approved for a $12.3 million grant. This grant was in addition to $6 million previously approved to ensure CVFiber had the necessary materials and equipment to start construction. CVFiber's Universal Service Plan identifies approximately 6,000 locations along 1,100 miles of roadway that are eligible for grant funding. The $12.3 million grant approved by the VCBB will support construction of fiber to nearly 3,000 eligible locations along 400 miles, at today's prices and estimated construction costs.  The estimated total construction cost for the 6,000 locations is $55 million. The recently approved grant funding will bring access to 100/100 service to portions or all of 20 CVFiber member towns. A grant amendment of $1,910,845 was approved in April 2023, bringing the total grant to $14,200,118. CVFiber Chair Jerry Diamantides was thankful in explaining the impact of the grant and the support provided by the VCBB.

"I want to thank the board members and staff at the VCBB for approving our grant request and I also want to thank CVFiber's volunteers and single staff member for the huge effort they made to satisfy the VCBB's requirements. Together, the VCBB and Vermont's CUDs will make a positive change for Vermonters that will last generations. Access to high-speed internet has become as necessary as access to electricity. VCBB and the CUDs are stepping up to make this important improvement a reality."


Maple Broadband

Maple Broadband - $10.84M

Maple Broadband was awarded a construction grant of $8.69 million. The award will enable Maple Broadband to roll out services exclusively to underserved areas within its 20 member towns in Addison County. The grant will be used to fund the construction of the first phase of Maple Broadband’s high-speed fiber optic broadband rollout, covering portions of the towns of Cornwall, Leicester, Middlebury, Orwell, Salisbury, Shoreham, and Whiting. Construction is set to begin in early fall in the initial rollout areas, with the rest to follow over the next year. This grant will bring 100/100 Mbps broadband service to 1,789 addresses, of which 1,135 are currently underserved. The grant was increased by $2,157,386 in July 2023. This will increase the miles from 180.6 to 244.3 and addresses passed from 1,188 to 2,748. It will add service in portions of Vergennes, Ferrisburgh, New Haven, Monkton, and Waltham and brings the total grant to $10,843,386.

“We are tremendously excited,” says Steve Huffaker, Chair of Maple Broadband. “This grant will enable us to bring broadband to some of the most underserved people and businesses in our district. Broadband internet has become a necessity for everything from businesses and remote workers who need a high-speed connection, to enabling tele-health services, and expanding educational opportunities for younger community members.”


SoVT - $9.01M

Southern Vermont Communications Union District was awarded a construction grant of $9,009,085 to build 251 miles and serve 6,412 addresses, 1,300 that are currently underserved. The project is a joint  effort between SoVT CUD and Fidium, Consolidated’s residential fiber brand, through an established public/private partnership to provide residents in the 14 towns in Southwestern Vermont with affordable and reliable high-speed Internet.

Eric Hatch, Chair of the So VT CUD, spoke of the benefits of this grant which many groups and individuals worked on: "In true Vermont fashion, our communities came together to solve a long-standing problem that held back our state from competing in today's marketplace. With access to fiber, all 14 towns in the district will have the infrastructure to retain and attract people to southwest Vermont."


Lamoille FiberNet Logo

Lamoille FiberNet - $13.59M

Lamoille FiberNet was awarded $13,227,657 in September 2023. The construction grant will fund broadband for approximately 4,800 unserved and underserved Lamoille County homes and businesses, and the 630-mile network will be built in two phases. Phase 1 represents 550 miles — connecting 4,170 addresses — and is scheduled to be completed in 2024. Phase 1 will connect all unserved and underserved addresses in Belvidere, Eden, Johnson, Hyde Park, Morristown, Waterville, the Lamoille FiberNet portions of Elmore and Wolcott, and significant portions of Stowe and Cambridge.


Otter Creek CUD Logo

Otter Creek - $9.95M

Otter Creek was awarded $9,952,273 in September 2023. The construction grant will facilitate OCCUD's project targeting 4,135 locations in Benson, Brandon, Castleton, Chittenden, Fair Haven, Goshen, Hubbardton, Pawlet, Pittsford, Poultney, Sudbury, Wells, and West Haven. Construction is slated to begin in early 2024 and is projected to be completed by the end of 2025.


ECFiber Logo

ECFiber - $13.23M

ECFiber was awarded $13,227,657 in August 2023.