HARDWICK (AP) - The telecommunications company VTel is marking the launch of a statewide high-speed communications network that will serve rural Vermont.

The Tuesday event will mark the launch of the company's wireless network that will reach more than 20,000 homes and businesses. Over the next year additional towers will be brought online every week.

The company's "fiber-to-the-home project" will bring high-speed internet service to more than 17,000 homes and businesses in rural Vermont.

Vermont has been working for years to expand broadband internet services and cellular telephones into the most remote parts of the state.