Note: This post cited incorrect FCC information. Please read the following post for an update.
Ever since he became Governor, Peter Shumlin has put a high priority on providing high-speed Internet access to everyone in Vermont:
In early January 2011, Shumlin created Connect VT, “an ambitious plan to deliver broadband and cell service to every corner of Vermont,” he said soon after in his State of the State address.
His initial promises were overly optimistic; reaching every nook and cranny of a sparsely-populated, rugged state is a tough task. But in late 2013, Shumlin was able to announce that over 99% of Vermont residences had high-speed Internet.
Perhaps not. The Federal Communications Commission tells a completely different story. When you look at the FCC’s state-by-state data for broadband Internet access, Vermont ranks 49th in the nation with 80% of our people lacking broadband. Only Montana is worse, at 87%.
No other state has more than 60% unconnected, and only three others are in the 50s — Arkansas, West Virginia, and Idaho.
So how can the Governor claim 99% high-speed Internet access, while the federal government puts us at a measly 20%?
The secret is how you define “high-speed Internet access.”