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Lamoille FiberNet receives broadband grant

Lamoille County, VT, August 26, 2021 – Lamoille FiberNet Communications Union District announced that it has been awarded a $120,970 grant from the VT Dept. of Public Service, to help fund some of the steps needed before construction of the Lamoille FiberNet broadband network.  The grant work will build upon a feasibility study and business plan completed in the past year, and the funds come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

“This funding will support our ongoing work to select a partner or partners that will design, construct and operate our fiber network, including the legal review and financial analysis needed to develop preliminary agreements with those business partners,” noted Larry Lackey, Lamoille FiberNet’s Treasurer and Partnership Task Force Chair. “The grant is also helping us set up the management and personnel systems we need.”

“Once we have the partner agreement(s), we will then need to update our high-level network design and business plan, and determine, with our partner(s), how build-out of the network will be sequenced. Then we will apply to the Vermont Community Broadband Board for funding for the next phases of the project, including a detailed network design, and, subsequently, construction. There are many, many steps involved in the pre-construction phase of a fiber network roll-out,” he explained.

Christine Hallquist, Executive Director of the Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) noted that “The Vermont Community Broadband Board is dedicated to rolling out fiber broadband to every resident in our state — a goal the state hopes to achieve within five to seven years. And I know that the VCBB board is committed to using the $150 million allocated by the legislature as effectively as possible.”

In passing Act 71, the Vermont legislature noted that “reaching the last mile will require a grassroots approach founded on input from and support of local communities,” and the State’s approach therefore puts the CUDs (Communications Union Districts) at the forefront of its approach to expanding broadband.

“Every dollar Lamoille FiberNet receives as a grant is a dollar the District can invest to expedite improvement of internet access service in our community. The grant will help us keep the costs down and ultimately make our high-speed broadband internet as affordable as possible for our community,” Lackey said.

The mission of Lamoille FiberNet Communications Union District (LFCUD) is to make locally controlled, affordable and reliable high-speed internet service available to every address in our member towns – Belvidere, Cambridge, Eden, Hyde Park, Johnson, Morristown, Stowe, Waterville and Wolcott.
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