BTAB submits its Report on the Development of Criteria for Sale of Burlington Telecom

March 23, 2016

Dear Keep BT Local Friends and Allies:

Spring Greetings! Thank you for your continued efforts to influence the future of Burlington Telecom and to keep it as a public asset. Here’s what Vermont Digger recently wrote in their article: BT Board Identifies Local Ownership as High Priority

The Burlington Telecom Advisory Board (BTAB) will submit its “Report on the Development of Criteria for Sale of Burlington Telecom” to the Burlington City Council on Monday March 21st. This Report outlines the important criteria, reflects public input, and anticipates a BT sale by January 2017.

Your Action is Needed. The City Council will finalize these criteria (below). It is likely that City Council discussion will take place in Executive Session, but it is important for the public to weigh in. It is expected that they will vote on these criteria at the April 11th meeting. We now we need to continue to advocate for a local, affordable and reliable telecom and remind the City Council that we are watching as they finalize the criterial and oversee the sale of Burlington Telecom in the next several months.

Opportunities for the public to weigh in are available at the City Council Public Forum on Monday March 21st and Monday April 11th.

Let the City Council know that you think the criteria are important for them to abide by and if you think it is necessary for them to include sale conditions such as:

  • The City’s right of first refusal on a future sale

  • Local Ownership, not just Local Presence

  • Clarity about which of the criteria are most important when considering a sale.

We’ve made great progress, let’s keep up our good work and advocacy for this important community resource.

Thank you for your time and efforts!


From the Draft Criteria Document found at:


The BTAB recommends the following criteria by which any purchaser or ownership structure is evaluated, along with all of the previously mentioned legal criteria.
Any new purchaser must demonstrate a commitment to:

  • Continue to offer affordable services that provide a competitive opportunity for BT customers.

  • Continue to have a local presence (office) with an emphasis on responsive and effective customer service.

  • Continue BT’s commitment to net neutrality, support of affordable, local public access, and other issues of importance to Burlingtonians.

  • Continue to offer both residential and commercial services.

  • Continue to engage in active participation with the US Ignite and BTV Ignite initiatives focused on realizing the ongoing and sustainable economic development benefits to the local economy that the network infrastructure affords.

  • Establish a skilled, experienced management team and sufficient financial capacity to both:

    • sustain BT’s “state of the art” capabilities

    • keep pace with technology changes

    • support expansion to the currently unserved areas of Burlington as well as other communities.


  •  Maintain and foster a strong partnership with the City of Burlington and its elected public officials.
  • Allow the City of Burlington the opportunity to retain a carried equity interest in Burlington Telecom.
  • And ability to complete a transaction by the 2 January 2018, subject to regulatory approval
  • Finally, the BTAB believes that it is important for the City’s public officials to try to recover as much of the taxpayer’s $16.9 million as possible. Part of that should come from the price paid by the purchaser of the BT system. However, the BTAB also considers that part of that recovery may come over time, perhaps from the City’s maintaining a continued meaningful interest in BT that enables financial recovery over the next decades, and also from the indirect benefits of maintaining a strong Telecom System, recognizing the potential of BT’s fiber optic infrastructure to enable sustainable economic growth and job creation in an increasingly Tech centric economy, that accomplishes the goals outlined above.