Investment bolsters Connect VT initiative to serve 70 percent of remaining homes & businesses without broadband
The target community areas include unserved portions of the following: Bethel, Bradford, Brownington, Chelsea, Corinth, Dummerston, Eden, Fairlee, Guilford, Johnson, Pittsfield, Readsboro, Thetford, Vershire, Washington, West Fairlee and Weston.
"This is a major component to making Governor Shumlin's ConnectVT initiative - universal broadband and expanded cell coverage by 2013 - a reality," said Mike Smith, FairPoint state president for Vermont. "FairPoint has connected more Vermonters to broadband, spending nearly $90 million and adding more than 1,100 miles of new fiber. I can't think of any other provider who has invested more of their own money to make broadband available to those previously unserved."
When completed, more than 3,200 Vermonters will have fast broadband connections, 70 percent having 7Mbps speeds or better.
"The $6.6 million FairPoint has been required to invest in unserved areas is instrumental in reaching our goal," said Karen Marshall, chief of Connect VT.
FairPoint selected the target communities from areas identified by Connect VT, using census block data to map unserved locations.
In February, the Vermont Public Service Board approved a plan that the Department of Public Service and FairPoint developed more than a year ago to require FairPoint to redirect penalties assessed from 2008, 2009 and 2010 and use them for a purpose that benefits Vermonters and serves the state's larger goals, Smith said.
FairPoint expects the engineering and construction to begin immediately with communities coming online in 2013.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) is a leading communications provider of Broadband Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other Broadband services to customers in communities across 18 states. Through its fast, reliable network, FairPoint delivers affordable data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. FairPoint delivers VantagePointSM services through its resilient IP-based network in northern New England. This state-of-the-art network provides Ethernet connections that support video conferencing, e-learning and other broadband based applications. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at www.FairPoint.com. You can also connect with FairPoint on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/myfairpoint) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/myfairpoint).