Working together to bring high-speed internet to Southern Vermont

What is a CUD?

A CUD is a governance structure (like a water or wastewater district) allowing multiple towns to band together to attack their Internet problems as a region and bring high-speed internet to all.

How does it work?

Recent history has shown that the private sector isn’t going to solve the rural Internet problem for us, and it is too big for one town. Multiple towns working together is the proven solution.

Key things to know

Joining a CUD will not raise taxes, ever. By state law, tax money cannot be used to pay for communication infrastructure. The build-out will be paid for with grants, donations, and service fees.

SoVT CUD currently represents 14 towns in Bennington county:

  • Arlington
  • Bennington
  • Dorset
  • Landgrove
  • Londonderry
  • Manchester
  • Peru
  • Pownal
  • Rupert
  • Sandgate
  • Shaftsbury
  • Sunderland
  • Winhall
  • Woodford

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some reasons for creating a CUD?

  • Aggregate demand – Mixing dense and less dense towns makes the project more attractive to providers.
  • The entire region can benefit rather than creating a digital divide with town-by-town buildout by different carriers.
  • Funders are familiar with municipal districts.
  • Efficiency – Network design, construction, and operation can all be more efficient when planned together from the onset.
  • Town boundaries are less important than roads, topography, and settlement patterns.
  • Risk mitigation – Individual towns are not on the hook.
  • Additional funding opportunities – Easier access to federal and state grants and loans that require providing services to those least served.
  • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – Lessons learned and resources can be shared.

How does a CUD operate?  Are there examples of bylaws?

A CUD is a municipal organization.  Each town sends a delegate or an alternate to meetings of the CUD.  Operating procedures and powers are detailed in 30 V.S.A. Chapter 82

Is there a map of current Communications Union Districts (CUDs)?

Yes, please visit the following page: Map and contact information for each Communications Union District

What is the cost to the taxpayer and town in order to be part of a CUD?

Nothing. Neither the taxpayer nor the town is required to pay anything in relation to a CUD. Section 3056(a) of Title 30 states that the “district shall not accept funds generated by a member’s taxing or assessment power.” This means that a CUD cannot accept funds derived from a local options tax to finance a CUD. A CUD must fund its operations by bonds backed by the revenue derived from the project, grants, or gifts.

For more information about Vermont CUDs visit Communications Union Districts Frequently Asked Questions.

SoVT CUD is a municipality formed according to Vermont statute 30 VSA chapter 82. We are run by volunteers in our local communities (see Governance). Our purpose is to bring high-speed Internet service (broadband) to under-served areas of southern Vermont. If you are interested in helping out, have questions about eligibility, or would like to learn more, contact us.