Vermont Utilities Called to Action to Deliver Temporary Emergency Support to Effect Internet Access

Commissioner Tierney asked Vermont utilities to dig even deeper to do even more for our brave little state following Governor Scott’s extension of the “Stay-Home-Stay-Safe” Executive Order. 

Along with welcoming any suggestions, innovations, insights or refinement of helpful proposals, the Commissioner set forth policy guideposts for the duration of Vermont’s COVID-19 state of emergency:

  •  Deploy personnel, expertise, equipment, and reasonably available funds to construct and launch necessary infrastructure to temporarily deliver connectivity solutions to Vermonters who lack internet access whether within their homes or in proximity to their homes.
  •  Request of Internet Service Providers to do all they can to partner with Vermont’s utilities to temporarily support the delivery of connectivity solutions.
  •  Expedite the completion of permanent projects already underway that would expand connectivity.
  •  Clearly track the costs incurred when delivering temporary emergency support to effect internet access.
  • Good will contributions of labor and materials are welcomed with gratitude.
  •  Maintain clear and simple documentation of the emergency connectivity aid projects undertaken.
  •  Department resources like data, maps and outreach are available to utilities to assist with identifying unserved or underserved areas.
  •  Department commitment to advocating for swift emergency permitting review before the Public Utility Commission when needed to clear the way for temporary deployment of necessary connectivity infrastructure, such as poles in excess of 49 feet in height, or adding antenna height, or attaching connectivity equipment (e.g., antennas, radio transmitters, etc.) to existing solar generation projects.
  •  Continued maintenance of good social distancing practices and ensuring that any work does not impede a utility’s ability to continue performing its core utility service functions.