Act 71 PreConstruction Grant Awards

About the Program

As provided by Sec. 2 § 8085 of Act No. 71, which became law on June 8, 2021, the purpose of the Broadband Preconstruction Grant Program is to provide grants to CUDs (“Districts”) for preconstruction costs related to broadband projects that are a part of a universal service plan and meet other criteria as specified in Act No. 71. As provided by Sec. 2 § 8085 of Act No. 71, eligible costs include expenses for feasibility studies, business planning, pole data surveys, engineering and design, and make-ready work associated with the construction of broadband networks, including consultant, legal, and administrative expenses, and any other cost deemed appropriate by the Board.



Maple Broadband

Maple Broadband - $2,399,200

Maple Broadband represents 20 Addison County communities. The District has selected Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) as the network operator and completed a high-level design for the network.  The Preconstruction Grant will fund pole studies and detailed design. The District hopes to begin construction next year.

CVFiber Logo

Central Vermont Fiber (CVFiber) - $2,804,667

Central Vermont’s community Internet provider was awarded a $2.8 million pre-construction grant from the Vermont Community Broadband Board at its meeting on October 18th, 2021.  “It’s the single largest grant ever for CVFiber, and it clears the way to begin construction of the 1,200 mile, $50 million CVFiber Community Network in 2022,” said Jeremy Hansen, founder and chair of CVFiber.   The money will cover the remaining cost of the utility pole inventory for twelve communities, and all of the cost for the detailed engineering design for seventeen of CVFiber’s twenty-one member communities.  The pole inventory and high-level design should be completed by the end of this year. The detailed design will begin in 2022 and take about six months. This step is a critical element prior to starting construction. The last preconstruction activity before construction is make-ready, where the poles are prepared for the hanging of fiber.

Deerfield Valley Communications Union District (DVFiber) - $4,111,318

The Deerfield Valley Communications Union District (DVFiber) was formed at Town Meetings in March of 2020. The district includes 24 member towns in Windham, Bennington and Windsor Counties. The Preconstruction funding enables DVFiber to proceed with the design and engineering of a high-speed fiber optic network that will reach all unserved and underserved homes and businesses within its twenty-four (24) member towns. This funding includes preparation of a high-level detailed design, engineering, and preparation of utility poles in the Phase I towns of Halifax, Marlboro, Readsboro, Stamford, Wardsboro, and Whitingham, which are those within the communications union district (CUD) with the most unserved and underserved addresses.


Northwest Communications Union District (NWCUD) - $604,376.25

NWCUD consists of eighteen (18) towns and villages in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties. The Northwest Communications Union District's first request under the Act 71 Preconstruction Grant Program focuses on organizational capacity and pole study work.  The funding will support hiring professional staff, operation expenses, administrative & legal services.  The pole study will involve a physical survey of utility poles in the region, as needed for planning the construction of a broadband network.  Both grant activities are critical to the progress and completion of the NWCUD's comprehensive business plan and preparing to submit a Construction Grant application.