KEEP BT LOCAL CO-OPERATIVE
5 Lawson Lane, Burlington, VT 05401
For Immediate Release: November 11, 2017
For more information: Contact David Lansky at (802) 865-0155
Keep BT Local Statement on Collaborative Discussions with Ting / Tucows
BURLINGTON – While talks between Keep BT Local and Ting/Tucows did not find common ground this week, KBTL’s Board of Directors reiterated their desire to continue collaborating with city leaders moving forward.
The board of Keep BT Local met with Ting CEO Elliott Noss several times during the past week to determine if the two parties could find a successful formula for a joint venture. The talks were the result of a City Council resolution – prompted by repeated 6-6 tie votes between Ting/Tucows and KBTL – passed at their Nov. 6th meeting.
While the talks were not successful, there were several potential solutions discussed. Unfortunately, some of the solutions would not have allowed the co-op to keep its structure intact. Keeping that structure intact was a key concern for KBTL, as mentioned at the Nov. 6th City Council meeting by Board Member Andy Montroll.
“The Co-op seeks to retain its structure as a community organization that represents its constituents through membership and achieves an equity share that allows for a path to eventual ownership and autonomous control of Burlington Telecom,” states board member David Lansky.
He added, “Ting and Keep BT Local have very different business models, so it should come as no surprise that a mere five-day effort to find a way to fuse them didn’t succeed. However, that we were able to identify several potential paths toward a solution in our limited discussion over the past five days should be celebrated as a success, albeit a limited one.”
Lansky announced the results of the negotiations to the City Council by saying: “We had a series of good meetings with Elliot Noss and Monica Webb about how Ting and KBTL might be able to work together to purchase and operate BT. Throughout these meetings we experienced the Ting representatives as generous with their time, thoughtful, sincere, respectful, and open to discussion and consideration of a broad collection of options. We were unable to reach agreement on a way to work together that is acceptable to both parties.”
Both the Mayor’s office and City Councilors met with KBTL during this process and KBTL will continue to collaborate with city leaders moving forward to address the community’s interest in local ownership of Burlington Telecom.