On July 17 Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proclaimed that 14 towns
in a region in southeastern Vermont are getting the fastest
consumer connection to the internet anywhere in the United
That region is Springfield and 13 neighboring towns -
Killington, Bridgewater, Chester, Saxons River, North Springfield,
Grafton, Cuttingsville, Wallingford, Hartland, Pawlet, Danby, Mt.
Holly and Middletown Springs - are in the process of getting
state-of-the-art internet access at speeds 100 times faster than
average and faster than anywhere else in the United States except a
Kansas City, Mo., pilot project by Google.
"Vermont may be on the verge of reaping enormous dividends from
this historic investment in our future," Sanders said of the new
fiber optic service. "The ultra-fast internet offers the chance to
dramatically change how we think about education, health care and
business," Sanders added.
"The goal now is to use this resource to attract business and
create good-paying jobs," Sanders said of the region that once was
a national hub for the tool-and-die industry but lost thousands of
good-paying jobs as manufacturers shut down.
The cutting-edge development is a result of a federal, state and
local government partnership with private business to significantly
upgrade the internet infrastructure in the Springfield area and in
other parts of Vermont. This particular project is being built by
Springfield-based Vermont Telephone Co. VTel, which received
federal funds to build the fiber network that will provide
affordable broadband access throughout its 14-town service area.
VTel's monthly price for the high-speed Internet access is only
About 1,500 homes and business in the area already have the new
fiber-optic connection, a number which VTel expects to double by
the end of December. By the end of 2013, VTel says the framework of
the fiber work, which includes running the fiber through 14 towns
and into neighborhoods, will be complete.
"It does save us time, and time is money," said Doug Friant, the
owner of Vermont Timberworks which specializes in designing timber
frames and buildings.
Adam Trojanowski, a 38-year-old software developer for IBM who
lives in Chester, was one of the first to sign up for the
state-of-the art fiber connection. "I work with people in different
sites and now I'm on a par with them," he said. "When I told the
people I work with who live in New York that I was getting this
fiber they were envious. I don't think anywhere in the world has
anything faster for consumers."