Access to broadband is critical for Vermont families with students and ten percent of Vermont households with school-aged children cannot afford broadband service. EC Fiber, an established and successful community-owned not-for-profit currently serving over 5,000 customers in central Vermont, sees the need to include low-income neighbors in the municipal broadband network, and has been providing subsidized/free service to some low-income households during the pandemic. EC Fiber supported the creation of the Equal Access to Broadband Foundation (EABF), with the purpose of facilitating quality broadband service to low-income families in Vermont. The Foundation turned to Vital Communities to help get the program going.
With Vital Communities’s oversight, EAB piloted a subsidy program with a web-based subsidy registration tool, designed by EAB board member FX Flinn in collaboration with Rural Innovations Strategies, Inc., connecting families in Windsor and Orange counties to subsidies and affordable broadband.
Support EABF by contacting board chair Holly Groschner at firstname.lastname@example.org.