March, 9, 2022 —ENOSBURGH & MORRISVILLE, VT:
Northwest FiberworX (a CUD with 21 member communities) and Lamoille FiberNet (a CUD with 10 member communities) are formalizing plans together to build, own, and maintain an “open-access” fiber network that can host multiple ISPs (Internet Service Providers). When construction is finalized, the CUDs intend to universally serve every on-grid home & business. The network will create a marketplace for retail ISPs, telehealth providers, mobile providers, enterprises, schools, towns, and other entities.
“We believe we have a model for success. There are many moving parts and hurdles ahead, but with support from the Vermont Community Broadband Board and CUD leadership, we’re committed to our mission of bringing affordable and reliable access to all in our communities,” said Sean Kio, Executive Director of Northwest FiberworX.
The State of Vermont has committed over 300 million dollars to accelerate community efforts that advance the State’s goal of achieving universal access to reliable, high-quality, affordable, fixed broadband achieving speeds of at least 100 Mbps symmetrical. A combination of State, Federal, and private funding will be used to advance the CUD’s infrastructure project.
“By joining forces, the CUDs represent a larger population which improves economic efficiencies working with broadband consultants, service providers, and network operations vendors,” said Val Davis, Executive Director of Lamoille FiberNet.
The CUDs are excited to be in advanced discussions with what would be the network’s first retail ISP, Google Fiber. Google Fiber is a fiber broadband internet service currently deployed in 18 metro areas across the US, notable for its high speed (up to 2 Gig) and highly rated customer experience.
“These CUDs are committed to bringing fiber internet service to every home and business in their districts – in one of the most rural states in the country – and we’re thrilled to be in discussions with them about how Google Fiber can help make that happen,” said David Finn, Google Fiber’s Director of Corporate Development. “We hope this project will turn out to be an example for many other communities who need fast, reliable internet.”
Note: A CUD is a municipality established by two or more towns for the purpose of delivering communications services together, and CUDs are regulated by Vermont law (see 30 VSA Chapter 82). In addition, a CUD may not accept funds generated by taxation from a town, nor can it levy any taxes or obligate the town in any debt.