Beanpole Network assets taken over by county government group
December 6, 2005
SUMMIT COUNTY – Unsolved service and financial issues prompted the countywide telecommunications group to drop negotiations with Community Wireless to purchase the Beanpole Network’s assets.The Beanpole Network through Peak Speed Communications provided wireless services to local government entities and nonprofits. It was funded several years ago through a $480,000 state grant to expand the availability of high speed internet service to private and public sector customers. But Peak Speed’s bankruptcy in May 2004 put the network’s assets in question. A trustee appointed Community Wireless co-owner John Reed to manage the assets, and Reed reportedly worked to gain financing to purchase the network. Repeated delays in a closing that never materialized were coupled with service outages that caused many private and public customers to leave the network and seek internet service elsewhere.The Summit County Telecommunications Consortium (SCTC) notified Community Wireless and the bankruptcy trustee Tuesday that it will not support any sale of the Beanpole Network to the company. “The SCTC is not convinced that the financial resources of Community Wireless are adequate to operate and expand the network as originally envisioned,” according to a press release from the county. Community Wireless spokesman Ray Soto said the company will still seek to purchase Peak Speed, and will continue to operate in Summit County without the Beanpole Network’s assets. The SCTC intended to immediately take control of the Beanpole Network, and the transition would cause service interruptions to the private sector. “Unfortunately, the (SCTC) is not in control of the private sector components of the Peak Speed Communications network, and those customers may experience service outages,” the release said. “The (SCTC) believes this step is necessary to preserve the immediate viability of the Beanpole Network, and also to preserve the potential to re-establish a highly functional high speed internet system in the near future.” Soto said Tuesday the company was unsure how long private customers would be affected by the transition. Once the bankruptcy is resolved, Soto said the company plans to invest in equipment that will fix lingering technical network problems experienced in the last six weeks. As for service problems that involved repeated calls by customers that were never answered, Soto said the company restructured its management in the last two weeks, and asked customers to be patient.”As soon as we are free and clear to offer concessions to these customers who have lost service, we intend to address that,” Soto said.Customers with problems can call the toll-free service line at (866) 505-2326.The SCTC is a cooperative agency whose members include the towns of Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne, Summit County government and the Summit School District. It was formed to serve their citizens and constituencies through the development, regulation and administration of cable services and other telecommunications systems.