- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The state of Vermont is a step closer toward meeting the goal of ensuring that everyone in the state has access to high-speed, broadband Internet service.

Gov. Peter Shumlin and other state and local officials announced Wednesday that $900,000 would be spent on grants to bring service to 175 hard-to-serve addresses in eight Vermont communities.

The largest award will go to the community-owned provider ECFiber to serve addresses in the towns of Norwich, Pittsfield, Randolph, and Royalton. FairPoint Communications will receive $290,000 to serve addresses in Reading and Bradford, while Comcast will receive $230,640 to serve addresses in Norwich, Jamaica, and Rochester.

The grants are the first round of funding by the state’s Connectivity Initiative, which is designed to spur investment in rural broadband networks.

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