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State Issues RFP for Electric Companies to Offer Broadband

Wednesday, June 26, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Couture

The Department of Public Service seeks to establish a contract with a company that can provide a Feasibility Study of Electric Companies Offering Broadband Service in Vermont. RFP responses are due by 4 pm on July 1, 2019. The contract arising from this RFP will be for a period of 12-months with an option to renew for one additional 12-month period. The state anticipates the start date will be on or around August 1, 2019, with a report ready for the Legislature by January 2020. 

The study will show the DPS whether it is feasible for Vermont electric companies to provide broadband service using the electric distribution and transmission infrastructure.

The study will look at the possibility of engaging the electric companies to expand broadband service into under-served areas of the state.

Among other things, a feasibility determination shall address potential advantages of serving utilities’ internal data needs and expanding fiber for providing broadband service, the compatibility of broadband service with existing electric service, the financial investment necessary to undertake the provision of broadband service, identification of the unserved and underserved areas of the State where the provision of broadband service by an electric company appears feasible; the impact on electric rates, the financial risk to electric companies, and any differences that may exist between electric companies.

This potential use of the electric infrastructure is part of a general effort by the Scott Administration on Internet and cell service expansion, which includes the newly signed H513, An act relating to broadband deployment throughout Vermont.

Source: Vermont Business Magazine.