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Vermont Residents Get $35, 1 Gbps Connections
Stimulus Funds Bring Ultra-Fast Speeds to Rural Vermont
by Karl Bode 08:46AM Monday Apr 29 2013 Tipped by MrSean7 See Profile
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).

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New York, NY

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reply to battleop

Re: Where's the break even point?

My lord you people are selfish and cynical. Don't you know that the copper build out in this country was paid for by TAX payers and then given to private companies? Same for much of the fiber network. Private companies would never spend the money necessary to move this country past the old dirt roads that covered the country. Taxes pay for the roads you drive on, sidewalks you walk on, the airwaves your cellphone calls are made on.

If you prefer a country where the government does nothing but cause and pay for war, move to North Korea. Washington may be hamstrung by the right wing fanatics that don't want to pay for anything unless it's what they want. But it's there to do things no one else will.

Do you honestly think that spending a pittance, less than $100M, on something that created jobs, something the private sector isn't doing, and bringing the same technology that we all have access to in our urban and suburban areas to those in the rural areas is a waste of your tax dollars? If you do, then stop paying your taxes and we, the tax payers, will be happy to cover the expenses to keep you housed and fed in a federal prison.

Since when did American's become such selfish tea bagging assholes? It makes me sick. Our country was built on the idea that those of us that have plenty will help those who need help. The disappearing middle class, if Washington keeps cutting spending, wil lead to another depression and food lines. Or if we are really unlucky, the complete devaluation of the USD so like they did in Russia in the '80s and early '90s with their rubles, we can start using our money to wall paper our walls.

It's time to turn the selfish nob down to low in this country. That means corporations pay their taxes, oil companies stop getting tax payer subsidies when they are making billions of dollars, the wealthy pay higher taxes, the poor pay lower or no taxes and Wall Street does it's part by accepting a minimal tax on every high speed trade. Our debt/deficit isn't the problem. The problem is the fear of anyone to do what is needed which is a $3 or $4 TRILLION spending stimulus on infrastructure. Now is the time to do it when interest rates are low.