Broadband’s ability to expand educational and employment opportunities is especially meaningful for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, a community that faces unique challenges in education and that suffers from a rate of unemployment much higher than the national average. Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) intends to expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide them with online tools to more fully participate in the digital economy. The project proposes to employ a combination of discounted broadband service and specialized computers, technology training from an online state-of-the art support center customized to the community’s needs, public access to videophones at anchor institutions from coast to coast, and a nationwide outreach initiative. Thousands will gain online access to all the Internet has to offer, including sign language interpreters, captioned video services, and other content and functionalities designed especially to advance their educational, employment, and healthcare interests.
|Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.||$14,988,657||Sustainable Adoption|
|ION Hold Co., LLC transferred to ION NewCo Corp.||$38,938,988||Infrastructure|
|University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development||$62,540,162||Infrastructure|
|Vermont Center for Geographic Information, Inc.||$3,542,996||Broadband Data & Development|
|Vermont Council on Rural Development||$2,525,675||Sustainable Adoption|
|Vermont Telecommunications Authority||$33,393,402||Infrastructure|
|Vermont Telephone Company||$12,256,492||Infrastructure|
The ION Upstate New York Rural Broadband Initiative proposes to build 10 new segments of fiber-optic, middle mile broadband infrastructure, serving more than 70 rural communities in upstate New York and parts of Pennsylvania and Vermont. The ION project plans to construct a 1,308-mile network to offer broadband speeds of one to 10 Gbps to serve more than 300 anchor institutions and immediately connect more than 100, including libraries, state and community colleges, state and county agencies, and health clinics. ION plans to extend its relationship with the New York State Office for Mental Health, along with the Basset Hospital and Healthcare System, to expand many of its telemedicine practices.
As part of a longstanding project to connect essential community anchor institutions across the country, and facilitate closer collaboration and long-term benefits for education, research, healthcare, public safety, and government services, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) proposes a comprehensive 50-state network benefitting approximately 121,000 community anchors. The project proposes a large-scale, public-private partnership to interconnect more than 30 existing research and education networks, creating a dedicated 100-200 Gbps nationwide fiber backbone with 3.2 terabits per second (TBps) total capacity that would enable advanced networking features such as IPv6 and video multicasting. The project plans to connect community anchors across all disciplines into virtual communities with shared goals and objectives, including colleges, universities, libraries, major veterans and other health care facilities, and public safety entities, with additional benefits to tribes, vulnerable populations, and government entities.
State Broadband Capacity Building:
The Vermont Center for Geographic Information will create a new position, the Director of Broadband Coordination and Outreach, within the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. This position will be charged with leading the broadband vision within the state of Vermont, and implementing the Vermont Telecommunications Plan (VTP).
Local and Regional Planning Teams:
This grant will create technology teams that will work with Vermont’s Regional Planning Commissions to implement Regional Broadband Technology Plans and serve as a feedback tool to align the VTP with community feedback. This will directly increase Vermont’s broadband capacity as it relates to economic development.
Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:
This project was originally funded for two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.
The Vermont Community Broadband Project plans to increase broadband Internet access and adoption in 24 small, mostly rural communities through a comprehensive effort combining broadband training, access, awareness, and planning. The Vermont Council on Rural Development and its project partners plan to train more than 1,800 individuals and distribute an estimated 1,200 computers to 4th and 5th grade students in these communities. The project will help teachers integrate broadband usage into lesson plans and implement a mentoring program in which middle and high school students help 4th and 5th grade students build Web sites with local content. The project’s awareness campaign expects to reach 300,000 residents throughout Vermont via local and regional radio, newspaper and TV news stories, program announcements, and other communication tools.
As a small, rural state with rugged terrain, Vermont has difficulty attracting broadband Internet providers, who are often unable to build profitable business models for serving the state. Vermont Fiber Link, a public-private partnership between the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) and Sovernet Fiber Corporation, a regional communications service provider, proposes to address this problem, focusing on Vermont’s key community anchor institutions, such as K-12 schools, that lack affordable high speed Internet access. The project plans to build almost 800 miles of fiber broadband infrastructure and provide direct connections at speeds of up to 1 Gbps to as many as 340 anchor institutions statewide, including nine community colleges, 12 other institutions of higher learning, 30 public safety entities, and 53 libraries.
The VT BELL project is VTEL’s plan to address a bandwidth and transport capacity shortage in the state’s existing middle mile infrastructure in areas including Essex, Stowe, New Haven, and Berlin. Because this shortage has slowed the deployment of crucial resources necessary to promote long term educational and economic initiatives, such as distance learning networks, access to Internet2, and remote access to large databases and libraries, VT BELL proposes expanding VTel's existing fiber network to deliver up to 10 Gbps Ethernet broadband to more than 200 high schools; hospitals; colleges; universities; community colleges; rural, independent and large telephone companies; and public safety entities, including police barracks, statewide. The project also proposes to build the high speed network to Vermont's three highest peaks to enhance the Department of Public Safety's statewide microwave network for improved emergency communications in mountainous areas.