Burlington Telecom did not fail
To the Editor: In Tom Eaton’s column, “Like a Bad Penny, Municipal Broadband Keeps Turning Up,” published in the Union Leader on March 16, Eaton writes that “Burlington, Vt., taxpayers were left on the hook for more than $10 million when Burlington Telecom’s network failed.” We are writing to correct Mr. Eaton’s assertion that Burlington Telecom’s network failed. Burlington Telecom is, in fact, alive and well.
Created in 2004 as one of the nation’s first municipal fiber builds, Burlington Telecom now passes nearly 15,750 properties and connects all the city’s municipal offices, schools and essential services. It is no secret that in 2009, Burlington Telecom was plunged into financial crisis when it became clear that it could not generate sufficient earnings to cover its cost of operations, debt payments and debt burden. Despite a fall in subscriber numbers and revenues, however, Burlington Telecom achieved positive earnings for the first time in FY 2010 and has been profitable ever since.
In our latest fiscal year, our subscriber base grew by more than 16 percent and we have reinvested profits into continuing our network expansion throughout Burlington’s downtown core and into replacing aging equipment. This investment has created a state-of-the-art infrastructure with symmetrical, gigabit connectivity, as well as new video-on-demand and middleware for cable customers and word class VoIP capabilities for business customers; investments that will benefit Burlington residents for many years to come.
Director of Marketing and PR