$16M in ARPA funding to help hook Vt. communities up to broadband

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 4:25 PM EDT
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BOLTON, Vt. (WCAX) - More than $16 million is headed to Bolton and Northeast Kingdom towns to get them hooked up to high-speed broadband.

In Bolton, American Rescue Plan Act funding will complete fiber installation to 500 locations, 271 of which are underserved.

In the Northeast Kingdom, NEK Broadband’s Christa Shute says the money will allow them to build 250 miles of fiber optic cable with services to almost 1,500 homes without broadband.

After two years, they will have touched over 90% of their 51 member communities and laid foundational infrastructure throughout the whole.

Shute says hooking up the NEK is vital.

“Our region has both the lowest population density and the lowest per capita income, which results in both the highest percentage of locations without sufficient internet service and a significantly higher cost to provide it. The areas we are trying to serve have less than 10 premises per mile, some significantly less,” Shute said.

The two projects must be completed within the next 2 years.

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