News Releases

August 06, 2012

Gov. Shumlin Announces Plans to Expand Cell Service from Bethel Tower

Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) announced today plans to construct a communications tower in Bethel that will expand mobile broadband and voice service on VT Route 12 and VT route 107 in Bethel and connect back to existing coverage on I-89. To the south, it extends the coverage at the fork of VT Route 12 and VT Route 107. To the north, it extends the coverage at the intersection of VT route 12 and Camp Brook Rd. To the east, it connects to existing coverage on I-89.

“We’re breaking ground today on this tower in Bethel and the mission to extend cellular service in Vermont. Mobile voice and broadband coverage extension is one of our most challenging goals. It takes a partnership to connect Vermont and together the VTA, AT&T and my administration are getting it done at this site.” the Governor said. The announcement comes following a recent agreement between AT & T and the VTA for up to 25 years of service from this location. AT & T has completed the 248a permitting process for the Sand Hill Road location in Bethel and progress will continue as the VTA wraps up FCC requirements. The 120-foot tower will provide service from the intersection of Routes 12 and 107, an area that was identified by Connect VT as one of many ‘mobile target corridors and drop zones’ throughout the state. Along the roughly 17-mile corridor, broadband data and voice service is expected to reach GW Plastics, Mastine Motor Sports, Valley Motor Sports, businesses and homes, and to be enhanced along Interstate 89.

From a recent study, cell service reaches 88 percent of all e 911 locations across the state. “We are pursuing every avenue to extend cellular service for Vermonters, our businesses and visitors. Our carriers are investing their own capital in LTE technologies to keep pace with demand. With the VTA, we are investing in tower construction, microcell technology and new 3G and 4G LTE networks that multiple carriers can access to extend coverage” said Karen Marshall, Chief, Connect VT. The VTA Board has approved up to an additional $2 million for the construction of communications towers that can accommodate multiple broadband data and voice providers, public safety and utility radio communications. VTA's investment will reduce the cost to carriers of extending their networks to target corridors where it has previously proven uneconomic to do so.

Today’s announcement is just another example of AT&T’s ongoing commitment to Vermont. The company has invested more than $30 million in its network in the state over the past two years. Near the Route 91 corridor, AT&T has added seven new cells since 2011. In addition, AT&T has upgraded 120 cell sites throughout the state with additional capacity bringing our 4G HSPA+ service to the majority of Vermont.

"AT&T is excited to be part of this important project. Expanding the availability of service in Bethel has been a top priority for AT&T," said Patricia Jacobs, president of AT&T in New England. "We are grateful for Governor Shumlin’s ongoing leadership in expanding the availability of mobile broadband throughout Vermont. The Governor’s focus on this issue, along with his commitment to creating a positive environment for business investment, is a major reason AT&T continues to aggressively invest in Vermont."

“This is a first for the VTA and Vermont,” said Christopher Campbell, VTA Executive Director. “This project brings together one of the largest cellular carriers in Vermont and the nation, the VTA, and a local municipality to expand coverage for Vermonters.”

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: August 06, 2012 08:16:55