Internet should be on the way for those Vermonters still without access after several years of work to expand the state’s high-speed broadband network. On December 28, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Connect Vermont chief Karen Marshall announced that another 12,500 locations should soon have access to high-speed broadband and that by the end of 2013 every household and business in the state should be connected.
“Karen and Connect Vermont have done a remarkable job of working with telecommunications companies across the state and across the nation to ensure households and employers have the internet access they need for education, business, telecommunicating, shopping and all the other things people worldwide turn to the internet for,” Gov. Shumlin said in a press release on the project. He went on to explain that while Tropical Storm Irene did slow the progress of the Connect Vermont project in certain areas the goal of 100 percent connectivity remains on track.
In her own statements on the project Marshall explained that in 2010 there were approximately 256,343 locations in Vermont with high-speed access while another 37,761 lacked the service. However, as of June of 2012 the Connect Vermont initiative had raised the number of locations with access to 282,066 while also increasing the average speed of connection from 5.5. megabits per second to 9 megabits per second. This increase in average speed of connection now had Vermont ranked fourth of all states in that category. Despite the increase in connected locations there are 12,494 locations still in the process of receiving the service and 505 locations still listed as challenges.
While there are 505 locations that are listed as challenges the Connect Vermont team is working to find new solutions to bring high-speed broadband to those areas. Locally, several residents of Belvidere have complained that while their town is listed as connected they are still unable to gain access to high-speed internet. In their press release, Marshall and Shumlin urged any Vermonters currently living or operating a business in one of these ‘black holes’ to report their lack of service.
“We are achieving what most states in the country can’t even begin to envision- an integrated, collocated and ubiquitous telecommunications infrastructure that serves multiple purposes,” Marshall said in the press release, “These milestones have been achieved by our telecommunications carriers and utilities in partnership with the VTA, the Administration, federal agencies, the Department of Public Service, Public Service Board, and local communities. We are creating both connections and jobs in this sector, and we look forward to meeting our end of 2013 milestones.”
Anyone wishing to learn more about Connect Vermont or how to report any black holes in service can do so by visiting the website http://www.broadbandvt.org/.