Tag: "Burlington Telecom"

Posted June 8, 2009 by christopher

In Burlington we were very clear about what we wanted to build. We wanted to build a road system -- an electronic public road system. Cities build public roads to be available to everybody on a non-discriminatory basis.

Cities are perfectly comfortable offering a public bus service as well, or a garbage service, not to mention fire and police services. There is no problem when these services use the public roads they build, and in some cases like garbage disposal and bus service, cities actually charge a fee.

Posted June 8, 2009 by christopher

This is a transcription of the speech Nulty gave at the 2008 Broadband Properties Summit. Nulty describes the history of the Burlington efforts before and after he joined to build their fiber-to-the-home system. He talks about incumbent obstructionist efforts, the role of consultants, and the economical questions they considered before building.

He goes on to discuss why FTTH is practical in rural areas - and less expensive than most claim. Finally, he frankly discusses some of the tensions involved with running community networks when they are a city department (as opposed to a utility that may be at arm's length or a nonprofit).

Posted May 13, 2009 by christopher

[Tim] Nulty echoes comments from other muni-fiber pioneers in terms of their attitudes toward customer service. While private companies, he says, are inclined to spend the least they can on customer service without losing customers, the approach taken by BT is to "provide the best customer service you can afford." He says he would tell his staff, "if you can't solve [a customer's problem] on the phone, go fix it in their home."

Posted April 30, 2009 by christopher

Much misinformation has been disseminated about Burlington Telecom (BT).

Here are the facts. BT is a city department of Burlington, Vermont, which owns a fiber-to-the-home network and offers triple play services (phone, cable, internet). The network depends entirely on subscriber revenues and is not subsidized in any form by the City. BT has saved the City money while being built entirely with investor money -- no tax dollars have been or will be used.

BT continues to add subscribers and has a take rate above 40% in the area it first began offering services.

Update: BT has encountered some serious problems following some questionable activities by the Mayor's Administration. I have covered some of the BT developments here.

ILSR issued a report in 2011 that updates this case study: Learning from Burlington Telecom: Some Lessons for Community Networks

Posted April 30, 2009 by christopher

Benoit Felten of FiberEvolution.com interviews Tim Nulty (former GM of Burlington Telecom, currently working on massive rural FTTH network in Vermont) at the Freedom to Connect Conference. Covers many topics, especially the economics of FTTH and why the public sector should invest in these networks.

Other videos from this conference are available here.

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