Makes Progress on Promise to Bring Internet Access to the Northeast Kingdom
NEK Broadband announced today that it has added new addresses in Waterford to its fiber network, delivering on its promise to bring high-speed internet to underserved communities in the Northeast Kingdom. The Waterford network has been funded by a combination of federal grants through the Vermont Community Broadband Board and the town’s contribution of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
High-speed internet via NEK Broadband is now available in some areas of Waterford that previously did not have access to cable internet service.
“It’s so gratifying to see continued demonstrable progress in bringing internet service to the Kingdom as we reach our current total of over 1,000 addresses passed by our active fiber network,” said Christa Shute, Executive Director of NEK Broadband. “Waterford made an early and substantial ARPA commitment to expand service. Between now and the end of the year we will be providing new service to addresses in ten additional towns, and of course expansion doesn’t stop there.”
The VCBB issued a press release on September 28th announcing an additional construction grant award to NEK Broadband of $17.94 million bringing the total construction grant funds from the VCBB to the district to $38.9 million. The recent grant awards will expand the construction grant area from portions of 16 towns to portions of 35 towns.
“NEK Broadband’s progress is one more step forward to providing digital equity for Vermonters so they can live, work, and learn using the high-speed connection that is necessary for their success,” said Christine Hallquist, Executive Director of the Vermont Community Broadband Board.
Michael Barrett, the NEK Broadband board member representing Waterford, added, “Waterford’s investment of ARPA dollars in this project is bearing fruit for our citizens. It’s so satisfying to finally see a vision for high-speed internet in Waterford become a reality.”
People in NEK Broadband’s service area who would like to keep track of when service will be available at their home can sign up for updates at https://get.nekbroadband.org/.
About NEK Broadband
NEK Broadband is a Communications Union District (CUD) representing every town in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties, plus Wolcott in Lamoille County. We are a community-driven organization building public infrastructure to help ensure that every address that has existing electric utility service will have access to high-speed broadband service. As a municipality, we are a non-profit, so revenue from customers will go towards building and repairing infrastructure and increasing affordability for our residents.