Wednesday was a big day for NEK Broadband

Wednesday was a big day for NEK Broadband. On the same day that NEK Broadband Executive Director Christa Shute was invited to testify before the US Senate Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, it was announced that NEK Broadband was slated to receive a $17 million grant to help build out the network throughout the NEK.  NEK Broadband would receive Vermont’s first-ever United States Department of Agriculture ReConnect grant to deploy the fiber-to-the-premises network. Shute noted during her testimony that the grant would help fund a $23.5 million project that is part of NEK Broadband’s buildout plan. The project would construct 321 miles of fiber infrastructure across 22 towns and reach 3,300 unserved or under-served people, 94 businesses, 183 farms and 11 educational facilities.  NEK Broadband’s work to reach every address in the NEK is already underway through a $21 million project funded by the Vermont Community Broadband Board and state-allocated ARPA funds. “If there was ever any doubt, the last few years have made it absolutely clear: Broadband is a fundamental, essential service necessary for Vermonters to work, learn, and access health care,” said Sen. Sanders. I look forward to seeing this grant support all the great work already happening in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and how it will help encourage the development of new opportunities for years to come.”