Sanders, will you ask VTel to give back the money for the undone portion of the project?

Dear Editor,

Back in 2010 I attended the ceremony where Senator Sanders and Michel Guite announced the award to Vermont Telephone of a total of $116 million in federal government funding.

Sanders said “In the year 2010, every community in Vermont and America should have access to high-quality broadband service. This very large USDA grant from the stimulus package will not only put Vermont in a position of achieving that goal, it also will create hundreds of new jobs in our state. While much work remains to be done in sorting out the details and making sure that broadband access reaches and is affordable for all Vermonters, this is an important step toward achieving universal broadband access in our state.”

In a startling interview on WCAX Channel 3 recently, Michel Guite backed off his promise to Sanders and to the taxpayers of Vermont, revealing that the VTel is no longer working on the project for which it received a $116 million grant.

My question to Sanders is simple: given that the taxpayers will not receive the benefit promised with the grant award, will you ask Michel Guite to give back the money?

David Brown, Woodstock

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