Vermont has joined the gigabit residential broadband club courtesy of Vermont Telephone Company
(Vtel), who is now offering locals 1 Gbps connections for $35 a month. Thanks to around $94 million in federal broadband stimulus funding, the company spent the last year running 1,200 miles of new fiber across several rural Vermont counties in order to upgrade legacy infrastructure that was first launched back in 1890.
According to the Wall Street Journal
, about 600 homes have subscribed to the new service. Company exec Michel Guite tells the Journal
there is "hard work ahead of VTel to educate customers about the uses of gigabit speeds."
Vermont hasn't been a great state for broadband, given the largely rural state is a ROI nightmare for large ISP bean counters. Their broadband fortunes were recently made substantially worse by Fairpoint Communications, who acquired Verizon's unwanted New England DSL network, then subsequently imploded
under the not so watchful eye of Vermont regulators. Vermont's been tired of waiting for uninterested ISPs to wire them so they're working hard at wiring themselves.
Dr. Timothy Nulty, director of nonprofit ValleyFiber in Vermont, has made headlines over the last few years by arguing that deploying fiber to rural markets can be financially possible when done correctly
(and, apparently, when subsidized).