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Statements on City Sharing Letters of Intent and Details Regarding Burlington Telecom Finalists

OFFICE OF MAYOR MIRO WEINBERGER
149 Church Street | Burlington, VT 05401 | 802.865.7272

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 20, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617

 

Statements on City Sharing Letters of Intent and Details Regarding Burlington Telecom Finalists

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement today regarding the recently shared Letters of Intent and details regarding the Burlington Telecom finalists.

 

“I appreciate the hard work that the three finalist bidders have put into the proposals the City has shared today, and thank them for their willingness to participate in this transparent, extended, and competitive process.  While I will defer weighing in on the merits of the specific proposals until after the final City Council executive session next week, my review of the proposals leads me to conclude that we are on track to secure an outstanding resolution to the Burlington Telecom issues that have challenged the City for a decade.  As long as the City gets the final steps of the process right, the days of Burlington residents and businesses being held back by a broadband monopoly are behind us for good, we will ensure excellent, affordable, high-speed internet service for Burlington residents and businesses, and we will close the book on the financial challenges that I promised to resolve as a candidate for office in 2012.” 

 

Burlington Telecom Advisory Board (BTAB) Chair David Provost released the following statement:

 

“Years of hard work by community member volunteers on the BTAB, the Mayor and many on the City Council have put us in a place few thought we would ever reach when the magnitude of BT’s financial crisis became clear in 2009 – with an opportunity to recoup a substantial portion of the money taxpayers lost years ago, preserve for the long run the new BT’s ability to compete against Comcast or any other monopoly, finish the build out of our City so Burlington residents have an opportunity to enjoy the service it provides, and commit substantial new revenues to support the local tech economy, and to possibly retain a local voice through an equity stake in the ‘new’ BT.

 

“As we enter this final phase of the selection process of a buyer, I am excited for the community to meet the buyers and hear from them on their plans for BT and their commitment to this wonderful resource.  I look forward to hearing from the community about the three finalists as we share the details of their proposals. As I have noted before, the BTAB has unanimously expressed serious concerns about the sustainability of KBTL’s financing plan and lack of operating experience and the reason for that concern is finally public today. In 2010, the Burlington Telecom Blue Ribbon committee – which I chaired  – made it clear that BT could not succeed if it was overleveraged. A proposal that requires the assumption of $10 million of debt at 14 percent interest is not something I can recommend that the City Council advance.”

 

The Letters of Intent are now posted on the BT website, https://www.burlingtontelecom.com/settlement/. Members of the public can share their feedback for the Mayor and City Council to consider at BTfeedback@burlingtonvt.gov.

 

* See City of Burlington Summary of Burlington Telecom Proposals

 

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