On August 28, 2014

State seeks public opinion on 10-year telecom plan, hearing in Rutland Aug. 28

By Hilary Niles, VTDigger.org

The state will take public comment on Vermont’s draft Telecommunications Plan Aug. 25-28 at four locations around the state.

The Telecommunications Plan is a 10-year policy roadmap for meeting state government’s goals of providing stable and predictable rates for telecom services within a technologically advanced network that reaches all areas of the state.

The plan sets a course for the state’s current and future Internet needs, voice and video markets, and the government’s own telecommunications systems.

Once the plan is finalized, it will be the basis for the state’s telecommunications buildout over the next decade.

According to Department of Public Service (DPS) reporting to the state, service for roughly 25 percent of addresses are below the federal and state objectives of 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speed.

In May, lawmakers agreed to set 100 Mbps upload and download speeds as the state’s objective for 2024.

But Jim Porter, director of telecommunications for the Department of Public Service, said 100 Mbps symmetrical speeds are more of an “aspirational goal” than a concrete target.

Before reaching for 100 Mbps by 2024, Porter wants to focus on bringing all addresses in the state up to at least 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds.

He thinks that can be achieved by 2020.

Porter said the current draft of the plan places more emphasis on the incremental short-term goals, in large part because their potential funding sources are more clear. Regulatory uncertainty — namely, the state’s lack of authority to regulate Internet providers — further hampers the state’s ability to plan, Porter said.

Public hearings are scheduled (all at 7 p.m.): Aug. 25 in Burlington; Aug. 26 in Brattleboro; Aug. 27 in Barre; and Aug. 28, at Hampton Inn, 47 Farrell Road, Rutland.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Program to store carbon in forests grows in the Green Mountain State

June 19, 2024
By Cecilia Larson/Community News Service Editor’s note: The Community News Service is a program in which University of Vermont students work with professional editors to provide content for local news outlets at no cost. Forged by the American Forest Foundation and the Nature Conservancy, a program that pays people to set aside forest to store carbon…

Two prescription drug bills aim to lower pharmaceutical prices

June 19, 2024
Governor Scott signed both into law By Peter D’Auria/VTDigger New legislation signed by Gov. Phil Scott May 30 will help patients afford prescription drugs, as rising pharmaceutical prices push up health care costs across the state.  As legislators scrambled to wrap up the legislative session earlier this month, they passed two bills that aim to reform…

Gov. Scott announces $1.7m in transportation fund grants 

June 19, 2024
Three projects in Windsor County are among the 11 to receive awards  Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Downtown Development Board announced Monday, June 17, the allocation of $1,787,989 in Downtown Transportation Fund grants to support projects to improve safety, access, and transportation in 11 Vermont downtowns and villages across seven counties. “Revitalizing our downtowns is important…

Money available to protect against future flooding, no cost to towns

June 19, 2024
On Monday, June 3, Governor Scott and Vermont Emergency Management announced $90 million of federal funding is now available to Vermont municipalities to implement hazard mitigation measures that reduce future flood risk. These funds are available to all Vermont towns with no local match requirement. The federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides funds to…