New Appointee Will Lead Effort To Expand Broadband, Cell Phone Service

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(Host) The Shumlin Administration has created a special state office to coordinate efforts to expand broadband and cell phone service throughout Vermont by 2013.

Chittenden County businesswoman Karen Marshall has been named by the Governor to head the new project.

Marshall will work with private sector companies and utilities that offer broadband and cell phone service. And she’ll coordinate more than $400 million in federal grants that have been allocated to the state for the project.

Marshall says expanding broadband to every community by 2013 is not enough – she says it’s also important to provide a high quality product to meet the demands of the future.

(Marshall) "By 2013 the projection in the industry is a ten fold increase on an individual basis in the amount of data that we will download. So the key is not just that the services are there provisioned but that we have a quality of service."

(Host) Marshall says she hopes to employ several different technologies to achieve the goal of statewide service.

(Marshall) "Number one, a wireless canopy that covers the state by 2013. Fiber deep into communities that’s really the marriage, if you will, of the technical pieces. We need both of those – they work in sync with one another. Fiber provides a back haul for towers, you know towers give us the ability to provide wireless broadband those two have to come together at the same time."

(Host) The governor says the statewide goal can’t be achieved without constructing new towers in different parts of the state. But he says the towers can be sited with a minimal impact on the environment.

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