February 21, 2021 – If you take a look at this map https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/vermont-communications-union-districts, you will see that much of Vermont is home to a new kind of CUD: There are currently nine Communications Union Districts in the state. About half of them formed within the past year due to the glaring inadequacies of broadband internet connections in rural areas, exposed by work-from-home, school-at-home and telehealth requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Similar to other types of municipal districts, such as Solid Waste Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Districts, Consolidated Water Districts, etc., Communications Union Districts were created by State legislation. In 2015, Chapter 82 of Title 30 was passed so that two or more Vermont towns could work together to build high-speed communications networks that would service all areas in Vermont. CUDs are governed by people living in the towns they serve, appointed by local Selectboards. CUD governing board members are responsible for overseeing the financing and build out of highspeed internet services to fulfill their mission.
A CUD can be initially funded with revenue bonds, loans, grants, gifts, or any source of funding not generated by the local taxes of member towns. After that, ratepayers using the services support any work of the CUD.
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, and Waterville.
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, and Waterville. For more info, go to http://www.LamoilleFiber.net.
Submitted by Carol Caldwell-Edmonds – Board Member, Lamoille FiberNet Communications Union District