Vermont regulators approve sale of Burlington Telecom
Vermont's Public Utilities Commission has approved the sale of Burlington Telecom to Schurz Communications.
The Burlington City Council approved the deal back in December 2017, going against a group of residents who said the sale should not have been approved. They argue that since the city diverted nearly $17 million to keep Burlington Telecom running, the sale should not be approved.
The company will be owned by Schurz's local affiliate, Champlain Broadband.
Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, celebrated the sale, saying he is proud of the new development.
"It definitely feels like a major milestone in this long journey," Weinberger said.
Over the last seven years in office, Weinberger said he has tried to protect taxpayers from further liability. He hoped to get some money back, keep the fiber optic network in place for future generations and protect the city from monopolies.
"With this decision today, I am confident we are going to be able to deliver on all of those goals," Weinberger said.
The mayor said the city will get $6 million. The City Council will have to decide how to spend that money, which could mean investing in Burlington Telecom's new ownership.
That's still short of the $17 million missing, but the mayor said the city's getting money back in other ways.
"Taxpayers have benefited by more than $10 million from the credit rating upgrades that we would not have gotten had we not reached this settlement," Weinberger said.
The mayor said the credit rating could go up even more now that the sale has the final stamp of approval.
Weinberger said there are a lot of protections built into this sale. If there are any future sales, the city can veto them if there is a chance of a monopoly being established. The mayor said Schurz Communications will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the city, specifically to STEM initiatives and startups.
The privacy policies and net neutrality commitment are still in place.
Related StoriesOfficials lay out Burlington Telecom sale timeline
Burlington Telecom bidders announced
Mystery grows over Burlington Telecom's dropped 4th bidder
Special City Council meeting on Burlington Telecom
4th bidder in Burlington Telecom sale opts to remain out
More info for residents about Burlington Telecom bidders
Weinberger favors out-of-state bidders for Burlington Telecom
Coalition opposes mayor's BT bidder preference
Burlington City Council keeps local BT bidder in the mix
A look at the final proposals for Burlington Telecom
Supporters make final pitch in Burlington Telecom sale debate
Council to vote Monday on Burlington Telecom winning bid
Burlington City Council postpones telecom vote
Will the Burlington Telecom mess ever go away?
Burlington Councilor quits day job to vote on Telecom sale
Burlington Telecom timeline: How did we get here?
Will the City Council choose a Burlington Telecom bid tonight?
City Council requests Burlington Telecom compromise
Will Burlington Telecom bidders join forces?
Deadline passes and no deal on Burlington Telecom
The future of Burlington Telecom remains uncertain
Burlington Telecom bidding goes back to square one
Eliminated bidders team up for new BT proposal
Burlington City Council chooses a Burlington Telecom buyer
The wheeling and dealing that led to the Burlington Telecom deal
Weighing the political fallout from the Burlington Telecom debate
Schurz final letter of intent to buy Burlington Telecom released
City Council hopes to put Burlington Telecom debacle behind them
Critics ask for communications on sale of Burlington Telecom
City Council signs off on Burlington Telecom deal
Residents allowed to intervene in Burlington Telecom sale
Hearings set to approve controversial Burlington Telecom sale