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Public meeting on making Burlington Telecom a co-op - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Public meeting on making Burlington Telecom a co-op

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

A group in Burlington is looking at the idea of buying Burlington Telecom.

"Keep Our Telecom Local" wants to form a cooperative to purchase the cable provider from the city.

The group recently surveyed 600 Burlington residents on the idea. It says the majority were in favor of saving BT from an outside takeover or losing it entirely. Organizers would like to attract 1,000 possible members within the next two months and say that number could climb to 4,000 within a year. The group says Burlington would need to resolve the millions it may owe Citibank and that additional financing would be needed to repay what's owed to taxpayers.

"I don't think the city can hold on to it. I think there is a problem with a municipally owned competitive telecom business and therefore I started thinking, what might work," said Alan Matson of Keep Our Telecom Local.

The group hopes to share its idea and a possible business model with the public. A public meeting on the topic is slated for Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Edmunds Elementary School cafeteria.

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