Burlington Telecom concerns spurred county board to review contract issues
Burlington Telecom’s financial woes played a role in the decision this week by the Lake County, Minn., Board of Commissioners to end negotiations with a broadband company run by Burlington Telecom’s former chief executive officer.
National Public Broadband, whose CEO is Tim Nulty, had been in line to build a $70 million federally-funded communications network in rural Minnesota.
Lake County Board Chairman Rick Goutermont said that information received late last year from Burlington Free Press reports about the multiple problems facing Burlington Telecom caused the Lake County Board to “slow down the track we were on and tighten up some things.”
He said the board couldn’t reach an agreement with National Public Broadband on the amount and timing of compensation that he said would total “several hundred thousand dollars” after three years. Nulty’s nonprofit company wanted the money earlier, he said, while the board wanted to delay the payment until it saw the network was functioning well and had sufficient revenues.
He said that the board finally voted Tuesday against signing the six-year contract as a matter of “dollars and cents.”
“Even as late as late as last September, I was under the opinion that the Burlington venture was successful, as verbalized to me by Dr. Nulty,” board member Tom Clifford said. “I suspect it’s maybe kind to say some of his statement might have been embellished a bit. And then when we found that BT is not financially successful as yet and maybe never, then it was rather disappointing news to me.”
- Vermont Villages To Develop Rural Fiber Network (informationweek.com)
- Vt. city stumbles in effort to do telecom itself (sfgate.com)
- Big changes in Lake County fiber plan (tech.mn)