Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: November 5, 2020

Portland-based Tilson gets $3.7M to expand broadband in rural Vermont

Tilson workers and truck with cables for broadband Courtesy / Tilson Tilson already has crews in St. Johnsbury, Vt., shown here receiving materials for a broadband network that will serve rural areas.

Tilson, a fast-growing network deployment and IT professional services firm based in Portland, has been awarded two grants worth a combined $3.73 million to bring high-speed broadband to rural Vermont.

The grants, awarded by the state of Vermont, consist of $1.79 million for a new fiber network to deliver high-speed broadband to 360 unserved homes in the towns of Danville, Lunenburg, and St. Johnsbury, and $1.94 million to serve 217 additional locations in West Danville.

The funds are targeted at locations needing broadband service for remote education and to access telehealth resources, both of which are in higher demand during the pandemic.

"In addition to sickening millions and killing hundreds of thousands, the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted education, impacted jobs, and disrupted home life for every American,” Joshua Broder, Tilson CEO and a 2018 Mainebiz Business Leader of the Year, said in a news release.

"Access to reliable, high-speed broadband at home will help address the challenges of remote education, support clear audio- and video-conferencing, and provide access to telemedicine appointments," he added.

The awards come about four weeks after Tilson was selected by the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative under the federal CARES Act to be the full-service provider of design and construction to expand broadband access to hundreds of underserved residents in that state.

A spokeswoman for Tilson told Mainebiz on Wednesday that while the company will not bring on any hires for the construction work related to the Vermont contract, it plans to hire one or two local individuals to support the broadband network by the end of this year.

The company currently employs 521 people. 

Tilson said it will also offer broadband service to homes and businesses adjacent to the grant areas, bringing high-speed broadband access to other locations in these towns and portions of neighboring communities.

In announcing the grants, June Tierney, Vermont's Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, said, "As Vermonters adapt to working, learning, and receiving healthcare remotely, broadband internet service has become even more of an essential part of everyday life."

She added that her department and internet service providers "are bringing much-need broadband service to underserved locations" through the state programs funding the grants.

They are known as the COVID-19 Emergency Connectivity Initiative and the Get Vermonters Connected Now Initiative.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


November 5, 2020

Thanks for the coverage on this MaineBiz team. Tilson is also building a similar ~$7M network in NH for the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) with CARES Act funds. That network will be operated by NHEC and will be finished by the end of the year. Joshua Broder, CEO, Tilson

Order a PDF