Vermont FiberConnect Has Been Completed

Vermont FiberConnect was a public-private partnership and project between the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) and Sovernet Communications. The project received a $33.4 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The grant allowed Sovernet to develop, own, maintain, and operate a 773 mile fiber-optic middle mile network in southern, central, and northeastern Vermont. The project connected over 300 community anchor institutions in the project area, encompassing seven of Vermont’s fourteen counties.

Sovernet Communications was the sole sub-recipient of the grant, through its Sovernet Fiber Corporation subsidiary, and coordinated with the NTIA through the VTA. In addition to the grant, Sovernet invested over $12 million in the project, building a fiber-optic middle mile network, providing data transport services up to 1 Gbps to community anchor institutions, government agencies, and last mile providers throughout the project area. This award represented significant support and partnership from the following: State of Vermont Office of the CIO, Department of Education and supervisory unions, Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Law School, Department of Public Safety, Department of Libraries, and the New England Telehealth Consortium.

Additionally, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributed a grant award of $400,000 to this project to build public library connections, as well as $150,000 to support on-going broadband service in libraries.