Shay Totten

First off, I’ve been a Burlington Telecom subscriber from just about the inception – or when they first hit our street. I’ve suffered through Comcast, Adelphia, and other much slower services and when I worked from home I found myself often paralyzed for hours on end with no ability to make calls and/or upload and send files via the Internet. When you work from home, and you work in today’s media world, losing access to the Internet is lost money.

I don’t work from home full-time anymore, but I like having access to a reliable, robust network so that if I have to – such as when the kids are home sick – it’s there for me and I can be assured that I can send large amounts of data reliably and quickly.

Furthermore, I am a firm believer in cooperative ownership as a way to democratize wealth and keep community assets from being overtaken by out-of-state interests who have only their own bottom line to think about – not whether their network is helping to foster community businesses, neighborhood connectivity, and bridging the access gap.

I’m a longtime member of the Onion River Food Coop, sent my kids to a parent-teacher cooperative, and am also now an employee owner at my day job. I can say from experience that working together, cooperatively, makes for more resilient and stronger businesses. Businesses that, in turn, have a stake in the community in which they reside.