2 Vermont groups announce plans to expand broadband internet | Technology

Two communications districts are gearing up to lay fiber optic cable in parts of northwestern Vermont this summer as part of a wider state effort to expand broadband internet services throughout the state.

Northwest FiberworX and Lamoille FiberNet also announced Wednesday they are in advanced discussions with what would be the network’s first retail internet service provider, Google Fiber, which currently offers fiber broadband in 18 metro areas across the United States.

Sean Kio, the executive director of Northwest FiberworkX, said Wednesday he hopes crews can begin laying 2,152 miles of fiber optic cable this summer and be completed within three years.

The state and federal government are working to improve access to broadband services across Vermont, especially in under- or un-served rural parts of the state.

The state has committed $300 million to the process.

Potential customers will be in 31 communities in Vermont’s Lake Champlain islands and parts of Chittenden, Franklin and Lamoille counties, Kio said. Once fiber reaches a community, customers there can begin hooking up to the network right away.

Kio said 50% to 60% of the estimated $109 million cost will come from state and federal grants. The rest will come from private funding.

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