COVID Response Telecommunications Recovery Plan

The Vermont Department of Public Service has released the Draft COVID-Response Telecommunications Recovery Plan, and is seeking public comments and feedback on the Plan.

The COVID-Response Telecommunications Recovery Plan was commissioned under Sec. 15 of Act 137 (2020) by the Vermont legislature and funded through the federal CARES Act. The purpose of the Plan is to “reassess the State’s critical connectivity needs in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency and to reevaluate broadband deployment objectives going forward.”  

The Plan was prepared by the independent consulting firm CTC Energy and Technology, in partnership with the Vermont-based Rural Innovations Strategies, and incorporates feedback from consumers who filled out a survey regarding their need for broadband services in light of the COVID-19 Emergency, as well as a link to a speed test to provide information about broadband speeds in real time. 

Consumers can provide comments about the Plan by taking this brief survey.
[Please note that all comments, including contact information, will be maintained as a public record and available on the Department's website.]

The deadline to file comments is December 10, 2020. Comments will still be accepted after the deadline, but the deadline of December 10 helps us consider all the comments.

Public comments on the Plan can be viewed in real time.

Additionally, the Department is scheduling two online, public hearings on the Plan:

In accordance with changes to Vermont Open Meeting Law in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting will be conducted as a Microsoft Teams webcast and teleconference. You may join the Teams meeting several ways, including using the Microsoft Teams app (if you have it), a web browser, or by telephone. This short tutorial video is suggested for those who are unfamiliar with using the Microsoft Teams meeting interface. These Connection Instructions and Teams Meeting Toolbar Guide may also be helpful.

To cut down on background noise, all meeting attendees are encouraged to self-mute when not speaking.  (Click on the microphone icon on the video interface or press “*6” on your phone.)

Meeting materials will be added as they become available.  All presentations will be available for electronic viewing prior to the start of the meeting.  Downloading the presentations prior to the meeting start is suggested for those with for those with poor internet connectivity.) Meeting materials and video recordings will be posted after the meeting.

Questions or comments on the meeting presentations may be sent to the Panel before, during or after the meeting by emailing psd.telecom@vermont.gov.  Members of the public who anticipate speaking during the meeting’s public comment periods are encouraged to register in advanced by emailing this address.

Questions regarding this meeting may be directed to Corey Chase at corey.chase@vermont.gov or 802-498-3029.