The Emergency Broadband Action Plan (EBAP) was prepared by the Department of Public Service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, 23% of the state – comprising 68,899 business and residential locations – presently does not have access to broadband at 25/3 Mbps – the service speed that defines “broadband” under federal law.
The EBAP has one objective: to connect the unconnected to the internet in Vermont. The “unconnected” is anyone at a location in Vermont that does not have access to broadband at 25/3 Mbps.
If the EBAP’s objective is realized, Vermont will have achieved the deployment of universal access to broadband at the speed of at least 25/3 Mbps. The EBAP funding assumes that Vermont will receive an additional infusion of federal aid to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The EBAP lays out a strategy with action steps. It details immediate measures to improve broadband accessibility. It also proposes using a reverse auction model to achieve universal broadband in comparatively short order. The Department issues this Plan with the goal of establishing Vermont as a ready candidate for future federal broadband support.
The Plan released today is a public comments draft. Comments may be submitted to the Department by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the Department of Public Service, 112 State St. Montpelier, VT 05620-2601. Comments may also be given at the next Telecommunications and Connectivity Advisory Board meeting scheduled for May 21, 2020 at 10 a.m. Information about that meeting will be posted on this webpage in advance of the meeting. Comments are due by May 26, 2020.