Vermont will fund homegrown internet service providers under a broadband expansion bill Gov. Phil Scott signed into law last week. The move makes Vermont the latest in a series of states that, underwhelmed by the federal government’s solutions to provide internet access, have taken matters into their own hands.
Improving high-speed internet access is a top priority for the rural state, which is fighting the flight of its young people and wants to attract business. Twenty-seven percent of Vermont lacks access to high-speed internet, according to the state’s Department of Public Service. And 7 percent is completely off the grid.