Title 30: Public Service
Chapter 91: VERMONT TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY
30 V.S.A. § 8079. Broadband infrastructure; investment
§ 8079. Broadband infrastructure; investment
(a) To achieve the goals established in subsection 8060(b) of this title, the Authority is authorized to invest in broadband infrastructure or contract with retail providers for the purpose of making services available to households or businesses in target communities where such services are currently unavailable or to upgrade services in underserved business districts, as determined by the Secretary of Administration in the action plan developed under 3 V.S.A. § 2222b(b)(3).
(b) To accomplish the purpose of this section, the Authority shall publish a request for proposals for all of the following options for the purpose of providing broadband coverage to 100 percent of Vermont households and businesses within target communities: (1) the construction of physical broadband infrastructure, to be owned by the Authority; or (2) programs that provide financial incentives to consumers or providers. The Authority shall select proposals for target communities that best achieve the objective stated in subsection (a) of this section, consistent with the criteria listed in subsections (c) and (d) of this section.
(c) Criteria. Any request for proposals developed under this section shall include the following requirements:
(1) The technology and infrastructure used by a telecommunications provider participating in a project pursuant to this section shall support the delivery of services with an upload speed of at least one megabit per second, and combined download and upload speeds equal to or greater than five megabits per second. However, the Vermont Telecommunications Authority may waive the one megabit upload speed requirement if it determines this is in the best interest of the consumers.
(2) Infrastructure owned and leased by the Authority shall be available for use by as many telecommunication providers as the technology will permit to avoid the State from establishing a monopoly service territory for one provider.
(d) The Authority shall review proposals and award contracts based upon the price, quality of services offered, positive experience with infrastructure maintenance, retail service delivery, and other factors determined to be in the public interest by the Authority. In selecting target communities, the Authority shall consider to the extent possible:
(1) the proportion of homes and businesses in those communities without access to broadband service and without access to broadband service meeting the minimum technical service characteristic objectives established under section 8077 of this title;
(2) the level of adoption of broadband service by residential and business users within the community;
(3) opportunities to leverage or support other sources of federal, State, or local funding for the expansion or adoption of broadband service;
(4) the number of potential new subscribers in each community and the total level of funding available for the program;
(5) the geographic location of selected communities and whether new target communities would further the goal of bringing broadband service to all regions of the State;
(6) pending grant and loan applications for the expansion of broadband service filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and with the broadband initiatives program under the Rural Utilities Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or any other federally funded programs that may exist to support telecommunications; and
(7) the action plan prepared by the Secretary of Administration under 3 V.S.A. § 2222b(b)(3).
(e), (f) Deleted.] (Added 2009, No. 78 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. April 15, 2010; amended 2009, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 40, eff. June 4, 2010; 2011, No. 53, § 22, eff. May 27, 2011.)