McCullough Free Library in North Bennington upgrades Internet connection to fiber optic service

Saturday July 6, 2013

NORTH BENNINGTON -- On Friday, the John G. McCullough Free Library in North Bennington became the fourth library in the state of Vermont to install high-speed fiber optic Internet. North Bennington joins Putney, Dorset and Sharon as the first libraries in this project to receive this high-speed service.

This technological advancement will bring higher Internet speeds to users and more capacity for those downloading and uploading files.

The project has been in the works for three years, according to John G. McCullough Free Library librarian Susanne Warren. It is being managed by the Department of Libraries in Vermont, based in Montpellier, and the Vermont Telecommunications Authority.

Funding is being provided by multiple grants, including those from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, FiberConnect, a multimillion dollar grant that brings fiber optic Internet to underserved communities, and one valued at $33.4M from the National Telecommunications and Information's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

All equipment is being purchased by the Department of Libraries.

"Essentially, we're receiving about $5,000 of equipment for our library, free of cost to us," Warren said. "It's so exciting to see this finally happen after three years."

Sovernet, the facilities-based Vermont data and telecommunications provider offering the fiber optic service, is offering the service to the McCullough Library, as well as the other participating libraries, a discounted monthly rate for the project.

With additional federal reimbursements, libraries will pay no more than $200 every month. In some cases, the cost will be less than half that amount.

The McCullough Library will be required to pay an ongoing annual maintenance fee for library equipment, which is estimated to be no more than $300.

"This cable will not only offer faster connections speeds, but better firewall security and capacity than any individual library would have on it's own," said Kevin Nadzam, the Network Engineer from the Department of Information and Innovation, who is working to install the service in conjunction with a local network engineer, Ron Hausthor of E-Enable. "It's state of the art."

All 43 Vermont libraries will have the fiber service in place by the end of 2013. The Bennington Free Library is scheduled to make the switch by the end of this month.

To learn more about the Vermont FiberConnect project, visit

Contact Elizabeth Conkey at Follow her on Twitter @bethconkey.


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