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Public Statement: Lt. Governor Molly Gray on H. 360 Relating to Community Broadband Deployment

Submitted by Hazel.Brewster… on Tue, 05/11/2021 - 13:16

STATEMENT OF LT. GOVERNOR MOLLY GRAY ON H. 360 RELATING TO COMMUNITY BROADBAND DEPLOYMENT

Montpelier, Vt—Today, Lt. Governor Gray released the following statement on the Senate’s action on H.360, relating to accelerated community broadband deployment.

“Today, I recognize the work of the Senate and House to address broadband access in Vermont. H. 360 is an important first step in establishing a structure for the long-term deployment of fiber to Vermont homes and business, through Vermont’s community-supported, non-profit communications union districts (CUDs). I support fiber-to-the-home as a long-term solution for Vermont.

My thoughts remain, however, with those Vermonters who struggle, day in and day out, to access affordable, quality broadband at a time when so many services have moved online, some permanently.

Access to telehealth, online learning, remote work, civic engagement, as well as mental health and support services cannot be further prolonged. Vermonters in unserved communities cannot wait another 10 years, 5 years, or 3 years for broadband access.

My sincere hope is that any future funds coming to Vermont through the American Jobs Plan or other federal appropriations will be used to meet the short-term affordable and accessible broadband needs of Vermonters through all reliable technological means available.

While building out long-term “future proof” affordable, quality, broadband access we must also meet the short-term needs. Doing so ensures that the gaps between communities with and without access do not continue to grow in the weeks, months and years ahead and that no Vermonter is left behind.”

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