See this editorial in today’s Valley News for a pretty good summary of the state of ECFiber with respect to the VTA.
The reaction of an ECFiber delegate (a project to clone Burlington Telecom in rural Vermont) to the Free Press article was: ?The tone is negative, but the facts are actually positive for BT?. Quite so. Continue reading “Tim Nulty's Response: "My Turn"”
See this article on the current state of Burlington Telecom which ran in the Burlington Free Press yesterday. I think it is written pretty fairly, from my perspective, and raises some legitimate concerns. Note that, while BT may be behind on its predictions, it is projected to break even within the next few months. Taking advantage of current low interest rates to refinance its current debt load is probably a good opportunity for them to sustain this status, and move into the black in the future. The questions about the lack of details in early plans are legitimate, and things that EC Fiber must be certain to take into consideration now, or hopefully, they already have.
Current tally, as of today:
The headline and article in Saturday?s Valley News about ECFiber (?VT Telecom Panel Snubs ECFiber?) left a seriously misleading impression that the fate of a grass roots effort depended on the Vermont Telecom Authority (VTA). In fact, it does not. Continue reading “EC Fiber is Alive and Well!”
It would seem that, based on the other amounts of grant funds which the VTA has awarded, the amount given to ECFiber.net is right in line with their other awards.
For Release: April 22, 2008, Montpelier, Vermont
The 2008 Broadband Grant winners were announced today by the Vermont Telecommunications Authority.
Canaan/Norton, Canaan/Norton – $50000
EC Fiber (planning), 25 Towns – $25000
Global Net, Fletcher & surrounding area??? ?- $50000
Powershift, Elmore, Hardwick – $20000
Ripton Broadband Coop, Ripton – $25000
SVBC, Stamford – $30000
The Vermont Legislature has funded the Broadband Grant Program for four years. Last year it was funded with a $200,000 allocation. The goal of the Program is to create demonstration projects to test viable models for providing broadband to all Vermonters. The Authority was looking for creative ways to extend affordable high-speed Internet access to the unserved and under-served areas of the state and it found them.
Utilizing the changes put forth into this year?s grant program, the VTA grant committee has targeted some innovating technology in the effort to bring high speed Internet access to Vermonters. This year?s grants will utilize Wi-Fi hot spots in the towns of Elmore and Hardwick, fund a town cooperative in Stamford, provide wireless access in Canaan/Norton and Ripton, provide funds to a wireless service provider to utilize a Mt. Mansfield tower in order to reach Fletcher and surrounding towns in northwest Vermont, and to provide planning for a FTTH project in Central Vermont. In all, $200,000 was spread across Vermont.
Winners were selected on the basis of a detailed review and selection process. The selection committee includes several members of the Telecommunications Authority?s Board of Directors, and representatives from the Department of Economic Development and the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Jerry Johnson, Chair of the Broadband Grant Sub Committee of the VTA, said ?There were more and better applicants for the grants this year than in the past reflecting the growing demand by Vermonters for high speed Internet access. Access is essential to our state?s economic development, health services, educational programs and first responders. All these applicants will serve those Vermonters who are in need.?
The applications were judged using several criteria. Among them were: a strong public-private partnership use of the grants as seed money to attract additional funds or contributions availability to everyone in a covered area.
Last night I attended the second meeting of the ECFiber Network‘s governing board, of which I am a part, representing the town of Stockbridge. As of today, 20 towns have signed the inter-local contract, joining ECFiber, with three towns stating interest, and two apparently not displaying interest.
Highlights of the meeting included election of the Executive Committee, discussion with three towns who wanted to be members but did not yet have signed ILCs because of outstanding legal concerns regarding the contracts, a status report on dealings with the VTA, a statement by a selectman from the town of Pomfret, and an announcement by Tim Nulty an Stan Williams of ValleyFiber.net. Continue reading “ECFiber.net Executive Committee, VTA Report, and Other Notes From the 20080421 meeting”
On Tuesday morning I posted information on this blog which was inaccurate. I wrote that Bethel had opted not to sign the EC Fiber Network’s inter-local agreement, and indicated that 20+ other towns had. This was not true on Tuesday, and as of today, still is not. As of Tuesday evening, only 12 towns out of 25 had signed the agreement due to questions. Continue reading “Clarification/Retraction on Bethel's Stance on ECFiber.net”