Broadband Wireless to Rural Vermont.

 The Vermont Telecommunications Authority is counting on a wireless approach to push broadband access out to rural Vermont.

Vermont Telecommunications Authority has decided that a broadband wireless strategy is the best way to bring broadband speeds to rural and underserved parts of the state. 

The VTA, created by legislation last year, has access to up to $40 million in bond money to accomplish its goal of improving rural broadband. The VTA thinks that building several hundred communication towers to festoon with broadband wireless equipment and cellular equipment. 

Read the article at Times Argus.

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One Comment on “Broadband Wireless to Rural Vermont.”

  1. Mike Oltedal Says:

    The Vermont Telecommunications Authority and the State has neglected to inform the general public of a way to cover the entire state with needed telecommunications . A way that will cover the state with a telecommunications infrastructure that will take us into the future ,supplying high speed Internet, wired and wireless telephone and multimedia services. A way that will end up turning a profit for communities all over the state of Vermont. A way that is already up,running, delivering services as well as generating a profit in many communities not only in Vermont but in communities all across the nation! A way to supply the bandwidths needs of today and the future to every household in Vermont without coming out of the taxpayers pocket.

    The way I am trying to bring across is that of a community owned network. A network that is built of Fiber Optics that will run to every home that requests it . The network is known as FTTH or fiber optics to the home-every home-. Think of Fiber optics as the telephone line update needed to bring us into the future an update to the old copper telephone lines. Running on top of that network would be our voice and data wireless services using low profile antennas. Antennas that would not have to be mounted on cell towers but on telephone poles or guard rails. The technology is available to do this today!

    Although the technology is available ,community’s that chose to go this route are faced with a hard time. That hard time is coming from the incumbent carriers the telecommunications company’s that currently deliver your services. Instead of spending the money to supply their services to the outlaying homes that can not get service better known as last mile customers. They are spending the money to tie up communities and municipalities in legal battles ,on advertising the misinformation that community networks will not work and on paid political lobbyists that are fight the issue on a federal, state and local level I must ask that if your community is one of the ones thinking of owning its own network to please give them your support.

    As stated by Mary Evslin , the VTA is faced with a large task. However that task could be made far easier on them by helping to promote and fund community owned network groups like ECFiber. Ecfiber will bring a community owned, subscriber – funded fiber optic network to over 20 towns in East Central Vermont.

    To quote their web page:
    ECFibernet, a group of local municipalities, in partnership with Valley Fiber, a non-profit service company, is planning to implement a high-capacity fiber-optic network capable of serving 100% of homes and businesses in participating towns with Internet, telephone and cable television service.

    It would be privately financed by a 15-20 year non-recourse capital lease arranged by a joint municipal entity on behalf of the participating towns.
    The private financier would own the network for the duration of the lease and lease it back to the joint municipal entity. At the end of the lease, ownership of the network would revert to the joint municipal entity on behalf of the participating towns. The network would be financially self-sustaining. “Non-recourse” means the towns would not be obligated to pay any expense of the network. User fees would cover interest, principal and operating expenses.

    Groups like Ecfiber are starting up all around the state to make sure 100% of all homes are covered.

    The Vermont Telecommunications Authority along with the state , should be working to promote and help fund these groups as this option is the only way to guarantee Vermont can be 100% covered with the best future-proof technology money has to offer. Wireless data and cell coverage can be added on top of these networks and would no longer require towers to deliver their services.

    The states plan of providing services via wireless is ok but not the best or most stable to offer Vermonters. Think how well cell service works today and what happens when we increase the load on that service – I am sorry all circuits are busy at this time , please try your call, internet request, chat or video at a later time.

    If you would like to see community owned networks in your area or you suffer from lack of service ask your local selectmen and political representatives to look into community owned networks. Look for startup community groups like Ecfiber coming to your area soon and give them your support


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