Sunday June 3, 2012

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Cellular telephone coverage should improve in 17 towns along 90 miles of rural Ver mont roadways after a company installs specialized "small-cell" radio equipment on utility poles and other structures.

The Vermont Telecom mu ni cations Authority is planning to provide $500,000 to help wholesale cellular service pro vider CoverageCo, of Cam bridge, Mass., extend ser vice into underserved parts of the state as part of a demonstration project.

CoverageCo will then be able to enter into agreements with retail cellular carriers to use the system in those areas.

In addition to the 90 miles the state is helping to subsidize, CoverageCo is planning to in stall the equipment on an other 125 miles of roadway across the state using private capital.

"With this deployment of small cell technology, we will undertake a demonstration pro ject to expand cellular coverage in target corridors," said Karen Marshall, the head of Connect Vt, the state’s initiative to expand access to cellular and broadband computer technology into rural parts of the state.

"We are funding and judici ously testing a leading edge technology for its ability to achieve coverage in hard to reach places. Our goal is to vastly expand cellular coverage throughout the state and we be lieve that networks like this one can be a significant part of the answer for Ver monters and the cellular carriers that operate here," she said.

The equipment is expected to be installed this fall.


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Tar geted areas include stretches along Route 110 in Wash ing ton, Chelsea, Tun bridge, East Randolph, Route 25 in East Corinth and Top sham as well as areas along Routes 108 and 15 in northern Vermont.