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.

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • AustinTX: Yep, this isn't about "your old modem isn't capable of the wonderful new speeds we're providing to your service tier", it's about "we know your custom...
  • MJ Lee: This is strange. I did get a letter from Time Warner saying my apartment was qualified for Time Warner Cable Maxx, but when I applied for it, I got an...
  • Tim: You know this is overstating the case ... unlimited data adsl2 plans are available from $60 in Australia. Average price is about $90...
  • Phillip Dampier: I think 10/Gbps is available in the USA as well, on an obscenely expensive metro Ethernet or commercial fiber link provisioned by a telecom company. ...
  • Phillip Dampier: Singapore is doing a much better job than Malaysia with fiber speeds and pricing, and competition is what is driving speeds up and prices down. If you...
  • Phillip Dampier: We've covered South African broadband here before. At least South Africa now has uncapped broadband, so count that as a victory. International capacit...
  • SumTinWong: So korea, how much bandwidth do you have to other countries. It's all nice and good if you got supergigabit but only get 1mbit to facebook/netflix. In...
  • Richard: In New Zealand using Vodafone Supernet (Coaxial Cable. Plan Speeds are 50mb/s / 2mb/s) Test just ran from Christchurch to other side of Australia, Pe...
  • G Hamar: Why am I not surprised at this - S.Korea is the de facto standard by which all others must now try to reach. You hear Comcast & Time Warner Cable...
  • Gaurav K. Guha: I live in Mumbai, India. I currently have a 50 mbps connection for which i pay 1200 rupees a month. Thats approximately 20 usd. So.... Haha!...
  • friesian: German here. For my VDSL2 broadband access with 50Mbps down and 10Mbps upstream I have to pay 30€ monthly... Just wondering about the Romanian pr...
  • Tom: No surprise.. 2 years ago, in the election race of the Governor of Gyeonggi Province it was the official pledges from one of top 2 candidates that he ...

Your Account: