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VCBB Town Match Program For Broadband


Broadband is an allowable use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF). The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) will match town ARPA Contributions. There is also a direct connection between affordability and the ratio of grant funding to financing. Inflation and rising interest rates are increasing the expected cost for Vermont Communications Union Districts (CUDs) and other eligible providers to complete network construction. This is a way to show your support, accelerate the build-out in your community, and promote affordable service for your residents.

Local ARPA Funds are an important piece of the funding puzzle. For those Vermont towns that elected the standard allowance for their ARPA funds, spending their money on broadband has become even simpler and easier.

Potential Uses of Local ARPA Funds

  • Effectively address local needs and overcome obstacles unique to the town.
  • Cover the cost of drops to low-income residents, students, teachers, etc.
  • Support build-out to areas with existing service not meeting the needs of the community.
  • Lift up an entire region and accelerate the build-out or allow a provider to pursue innovative financing to save residents money over the long term.
  • Serve as a contribution toward the 25% match required under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program.

Amount of Eligible Pledged Match

  • Pledges made prior to September 15, 2022 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000 per town.
  • Pledges made after September 15, 2022 and before May 31, 2023 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 per town.
  • VCBB reserves the right to increase available match per town going forward and retroactively if private funding is identified to support this program.
  • VCBB encourages towns and CUDs to seek out additional match opportunities that further multiply the impact of town-pledged ARPA funds. This could include local businesses, philanthropic organizations, or individuals.
  • Pledges received will be posted on this webpage. Pledges will be matched on a first come, first served basis. Towns will be notified if the amount pledged by towns exceeds the amount currently budgeted for the program ($5 million). VCBB reserves the right to increase the amount available for the pledge program.
  • Match will not be paid out by VCBB until summer of 2023 and will be distributed by an amendment to an approved construction grant that specifies the amount and the expansion of scope resulting from the match and match dollars. If the entity chooses to save the town and match dollars to serve as match for BEAD, an alternative agreement will be developed.

Conditions of Pledged Match

  • Pledges made by towns in communities that are members of a CUD must go to the CUD. 
  • Pledges made by towns that are not members of a CUD must be made in conjunction with the submission of a Universal Service Plan by an eligible provider.
  • Funds provided by VCBB to match a town contribution may only be used in accordance with Act 71 of 2021. Act 71 requires service of 100/100 Mbps and only allows “incidental” overbuild of areas with wireline service of at least 25/3 Mbps. This limitation does not impact the funds provided by towns.
  • To be matched, the town must be included in a universal service plan that provides all underserved address with service of at least 100/100 Mbps to all underserved addresses. The CUD or eligible provider must also have submitted an Act 71-compliant business plan. Both are required before funds can be matched.
  • Town funds pledged as match must be transferred to the CUD or other eligible provider, or investments must be made in consultation with the CUD.
  • Town pledges must be documented to VCBB before the program sunsets on June 30, 2023.
  • VCBB will not provide the match until the funds are transferred from the town to the CUD or other eligible applicant.
  • Any disputes arising will be settled by VCBB on the advice of the staff.

Eligible Uses of Funds

  • Use of match funds provided by VCBB must comply with all rules governing the funding source and Vermont Act 71 of 2021. Funds VCBB provides as match must be used in a manner compliant with Act 71. 
  • CUDs and towns are encouraged to be creative in deploying these funds. If the standard allowance was elected by the town, this could include using funds to leverage other federal programs or creative financing instruments including the buying down of interest rates, letters of credit, and revolving loan funds for the purpose of expanding broadband of speeds of at least 100/100 Mbps.

How to Apply

The following information must be submitted electronically to as a single PDF:

  1. Memo from the CUD or other eligible provider summarizing all pledges received before May 31, 2023
    The letter must detail the following:
  • Formally ask VCBB to match town ARPA contributions.
  • Complete list of all town contributions and the date of the agreement with each town.
  • Confirming that a universal service plan and Act 71-compliant business plan exists for the town or CUD.
  • High-Level Budget and Scope for the use of matching funds provided by VCBB ­or a statement of preference to save the funds for match for the BEAD program.
  1. Letter or memo from each town or copy of any contractual agreement
    To qualify for VCBB match, a CUD or other eligible provider must provide a letter from the contributing community detailing the information below and/or a contractual agreement between the CUD or other eligible provider and the town. This letter should be submitted to the Communications Union District serving your town or an eligible provider in non-CUD towns. The letter must detail the following:
  • Amount to be provided by the town’s ARPA Local Fiscal Recovery
  • Whether the town elected revenue replacement or confirmation that the proposed use of funding provided by the town is allowed under Treasury Rules
  • The need for increased access to 100/100 Mbps broadband in the community or region
  • Any conditions attached to the funds

Participating Communities

Graphic shows town match amount and map
VCBB understands and encourages CUDs and eligible providers to recognize that broadband may be only one of several important priorities for a community and to use this program as an opportunity to listen and learn and support all goals of their communities.


Questions? Contact Rob Fish, VCBB Deputy Director, at or 802-522-2617.