Home » Consumer News »Issues »Public Policy & Gov't »Rural Broadband » Currently Reading:

Revolving Door: Vermont’s Broadband Czar Takes Job With Telecom Company She Oversaw

Phillip Dampier January 9, 2013 Consumer News, Issues, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband No Comments
Marshall

Marshall

Karen Marshall, Vermont’s appointed “broadband czar” and head of ConnectVT has accepted a lucrative job offer from one of the broadband providers she formerly oversaw.

Marshall’s trip through the revolving door from public servant to the private sector she helped regulate will land her as the new president of VTel Data Network.

Raising eyebrows across the state is the fact her new employer received $116 million in broadband stimulus grants in 2011 to expand service in rural Vermont. Less than two weeks ago, Marshall was praising VTel for another $5 million state grant from the state’s telecommunications authority to expand rural cell service in the state. VTel is the largest recipient of taxpayer-financed grant funding in Vermont.

VTel executives said Marshall would be a perfect fit for the company that owns a fiber network in the state with connections to New York, Montreal, and Boston.

VTDigger called Marshall, a former Comcast employee, a one-woman enforcer for the current administration’s broadband goals:

Her job has been to ensure that state and federal agencies, private companies and Vermont municipalities work together to meet the governor’s 2013 deadline.

The VTel project is key to that effort. No other company has received as much federal funding. ECFiber, a fiber-optic company, Burlington Telecomm and FairPoint are also expanding broadband in the state.

ConnectVT is widely viewed as Shumlin’s alternative to the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, which is dominated by former Gov. Jim Douglas appointees. After four years of state funding, the authority failed to make much progress on broadband expansion, in part because of corporate disinterest in investing in expensive rural broadband development. It’s only been in the last few years that private companies were awarded enough federal funding to make extending broadband access to very rural parts of the state financially viable.

Share

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • Phillip Dampier: I'd say TWC customers are in for a rude awakening when they discover Comcast likes to charge for ALL service calls first and then it's up to the tech ...
  • Cameron: I called three days ago when my "promo" expired and talked to someone who I thought was in the retention department. When I asked if I could keep the...
  • Aaron: Ah yes, one of the many ways Time Warner Cable customers would benefit from a Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger; even worse customer service than what ...
  • Long Johnson: Didn't work for me. My promotion expired and the rate nearly doubled. All the rep offered was $30 more than my previous promotion with a 1 year commi...
  • Kauerine Langston / John Williams: I agree with everyone. We pay for WI-FI already. This is a service they should be responsible for. I also have dead spots in my house. I noticed on my...
  • Toby: A Comcast guy going around my neighborhood knocking on doors offered me the preferred plus Triple Play with 105 Mbps for $89.99/month. After addition...
  • Carmine: Hi, My contract is up Oct 10th. AT&T wants to increase my Uverse and I-net (6MPS) by 34%. Today I just used your strategy and called the 800-288...
  • Tony: As frustrating as it is, I can tell you from our experience it is the cable company For us the tuning adapter's firmware was not up to date. Cur...
  • Vikki Karan: Count me in!! I'm willing to take this cause on as well! Willing to take it all the way to DC and/or file a class action suit. Here is my story: ...
  • RG: I see the V52 on occasion with Cox in San Diego. Sometimes it's a SDV box decode error, other times it's a channel that I'm not subscribed to or doesn...
  • Vikki Karan: Major TWC issues with TiVo here in Los Angeles. We keep getting V52 errors. TWC says it is an issue with the TiVo Roamio. That there are open tickets ...
  • Scott: GCI just raised Cable TV rates and fees across the board an additional $30/mo for all customers this last month, so most that were paying $135 for a t...

Your Account: