Vermont Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms the Sale of Burlington Telecom

All five Supreme Court justices agree that sale “promotes the public good” and that appellants’ desired outcome “would likely impose additional financial burden on Burlington Telecom customers and City taxpayers”

Burlington, VT – Today, the Vermont Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in its review of an appeal of the Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC)’s order approving the sale of Burlington Telecom to Champlain Broadband, a subsidiary of Schurz Communications. The Court ruled: “Upending the sales transaction reached by petitioners in this proceeding would likely impose additional financial burdens on Burlington Telecom customers and City taxpayers. Moreover, beyond disruptions to Burlington Telecom’s workforce and customers and a reduction in Burlington Telecom’s value to potential purchasers, unwinding the transaction could potentially have negative financial impact on City taxpayers due to the City’s obligations to Citibank… Simply put, given the PUC’s past orders, the record supports the PUC’s conclusion that the petition promotes the public good.” The full opinion is attached.

In response, Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement:

“I welcome the Supreme Court’s decision as the final word: The decade-long Burlington Telecom crisis is over, and our solution promotes the public good by preserving high-speed internet choice for Burlingtonians and saving BT users and taxpayers many millions of dollars.

“I am proud to have delivered on my promise to voters to fix BT and restore the City’s financial standing, and I am grateful for the long years of hard work and commitment that made this possible by City Councilors, BT employees, the BT Blue Ribbon Committee and its successor the Burlington Telecom Advisory Board, our outstanding legal team, and our business consultants Dorman and Fawcett. I am also grateful to Trey Pecor and Schurz Communications for the critical roles they played in making today’s definitive resolution happen. Finally, thank you to the people of Burlington for sticking with BT through great uncertainty and turmoil, and repeatedly supporting this solution at the ballot box through years of debate and scrutiny.”