Northeast Kingdom residents who have been waiting years for access to high-speed internet are a bit closer to the promised land. State and local officials celebrated the recent allocation of over $16 million in construction aid, the bulk of which will go to NEK Broadband, the communications union district serving the NEK and Wolcott. Gov. Phil Scott and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch joined the Vermont Community Broadband Board to announce the construction grants made to NEK Broadband and Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom by the VCCB during an event on Monday. “These two grants are the start of a major statewide broadband buildout effort unlike anything in Vermont since rural electrification and the highway system,” said Scott.