A local co-op board will represent local views
Local ownership is the number one criteria for the sale of Burlington Telecom according to surveys of Burlington residents. But Burlington Telecom Advisory Board final criteria of sale only specify that the new owner must have a local presence. Keep BT Local is committed to member subscriber ownership, a significant difference from what the city is requiring. A resident subscriber owned cooperative will ensure that the new Burlington Telecom is governed by the wishes of local subscribers as represented by a board that they elect. A private owner with a local presence will have governance that is likely dictated by distant shareholders and maximization of profit. This is particularly important in the current political climate.
New FCC rule changes for telecom businesses are now underway. These changes allow telecoms to sell subscriber data and demand payment for delivery of content, giving big business the tools they have been seeking to remove neutral presentation of content on the net.
Only the locally elected board of a cooperative is likely to have a long term commitment to citizens’ demands for privacy and net neutrality. A cooperative is a proven form of telecom ownership that can genuinely reflect the wishes of Burlingtonians and subscribers of BT now and in the future.
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