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State calls on Vermonters to help correct federal broadband map

In this Oct. 2, 2007 file photo, A.J. Bowen of Schupp's Line Construction, Inc. works on fiber-optic installation in Norton, Vt.
AP/Toby Talbot
High-speed internet is still inaccessible to many Vermonters.

State officials say Vermont could lose out on millions of dollars of federal funds to improve its broadband network unless errors on a national map are challenged and corrected.

A federal broadband improvement program's funding decisions will be based on a national broadband map made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Vermont Community Broadband Board says the map incorrectly identifies about 20,000 addresses in the state as having high-speed internet.

To fix these errors, the board is calling on Vermonters to file location or availability challenges through the FCC's website. You can find video instructions for filing a challenge here.

"Broadband is central to everything, and frankly, I view it as an equity issue," says Rob Fish, the deputy director of the Vermont Community Broadband Board. "Ensuring reliable broadband statewide is essential for just the vitality and, really, the surviving of rural communities."

During this show, host Mikaela Lefrak speaks to Fish about when and how to file a challenge to the map. They also discuss the board's multifaceted efforts to make reliable, high-speed and affordable broadband internet a reality for all Vermonters.

Our guest is:

Broadcast on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Mikaela Lefrak is the host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Tedra joined Vermont Public as a producer for Vermont Edition in January 2022 and now serves as the Managing Editor and Senior Producer. Before moving to Vermont, she was a journalist in New York City for 20 years. She has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University.