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The financial and legal woes with Burlington Telecom’s municipal fiber deployment is typical when only one individual is holding the plan together. Municipal broadband deployments have many working parts that require support from several individuals throughout the city government and community to make them successful. In the case of BT, one man was driving the project and support: Dr. Timothy Nulty. When Dr. Nulty left to head up ECFiber, the city of Burlington failed failed to provide the long-term support to BT required to make the project successful.
Burlington Telecom under the direction of Dr. Nulty thoroughly planned and implemented their business plan, and by all indications they were on track compared to other successful deployments. As Dr. Nulty indicated in his open letter, municipal FTTH networks typically take approximately 5 years before reaching a positive ROI. BT was a bit more conservative in their estimates to account for any potential cost increases that BT may incur. Under his leadership, they were well on their way to meeting their business case objectives.
When Dr. Nulty left to take his current position heading up ECFiber, most of the experience, leadership, and drive left with him. Support in City Hall was weak which left no champion of the project to hold it all together. It is this lack of leadership and support that drove the Marketing Director to resign. Without a strong sales and marketing drive to keep signing up new customers, the network was is doomed because it could not keep up with its debt payments and operating expenses.
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Claiming LTE wireless can’t deliver broadband as robust, the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network is planning a pilot project to serve the sparsely populated 23-town region.
By W. David Gardner , InformationWeek
Frustrated by the lack of broadband service, citizens in a group of towns in rural Vermont are developing a plan to build their own fiber-based broadband service.
It’s called the East Central Vermont Community (ECVC) Fiber Network and, although it is facing tough odds, the group believes it can succeed where big cash-laden carriers have failed to deliver the service in the 23-town region.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Wednesday that an $81 million broadband stimulus grant and a $35 million government backed loan to Springfield-based Vermont Telephone Company (VTel).
The $35,166,081 loan and $81,664,754 grant to VTel Wireless, Inc for their Wireless Open World (WOW) project is one of 49 broadband infrastructure projects announced nationally. The broadband investments will give rural residents in 29 states access to improved service that will expand economic, health care, educational, and many other opportunities to underserved rural communities. Today’s announcement is part of the second round of USDA broadband funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).
East Ventral Vermont Community Fiber Network moving forward…
06:24PM Thursday Jul 29 2010 by Karl Bode
Vermont already wasn’t exactly a great state for broadband, given the largely rural state is a ROI nightmare for large ISP bean counters. Their broadband fortunes were recently made substantially worse by Fairpoint Communications, who acquired Verizon‘s unwanted New England DSL network, then subsequently imploded under the not so watchful eye of Vermont regulators. Vermont’s been tired of waiting for uninterested ISPs to wire them so they’re working hard at wiring themselves.
By DAVE GRAM
The Associated Press
EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. — Marlene and Mike McCarty, real estate brokers who do much of their work at home less than four miles from the Vermont Statehouse, say they spend hundreds of dollars and hours each month on things they wouldn’t have to if they had broadband Internet access.
Despite promises for years by state officials and phone and cable companies that they would have broadband by 2010, they’re still waiting. Now Vermont is in the heat of a gubernatorial campaign, and the candidates are making a new round of promises about broadband and fixing Vermont’s spotty cellular phone coverage.