Peak Speed finally hears good news | SummitDaily.com
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Peak Speed finally hears good news

REID WILLIAMS
summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY ” When John Reed reports to the Summit County Telecommunications Consortium and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court next month, the entrepreneur and business rescuer expects to have good news: The bankrupt Peak Speed Communications should not only be able to turn a profit, but grow.

Peak Speed provides high-speed, wireless internet connections to Summit County and to customer bases in Utah and Arizona.

A bankruptcy court trustee appointed Reed, principal of Eureka Financial LLC of Louisville, to run Peak Speed operations and help work out a plan to take it out of bankruptcy.

Peak Speed, formed by Greg Friedman and Judith Mercer-Friedman of the Breckenridge area to rescue another of their companies, Netbeam, from bankruptcy, filed for bankruptcy protection in May.

The merged companies were the recipient of a state-funded grant, a $480,000 seed to connect government and nonprofit agencies to the state’s fiber optic backbone, a program known as the Beanpole Project.

The bankruptcy trustee, Denver attorney James Markus, fired the Friedmans and replaced them with a panel of business experts to examine the viability of the company.

Reed and Dr. Flo Raitano, part of the new management team, said the worst is in the past.

The pair said that, in the month they’ve had to “pick up the pieces,” Peak Speed has moved from $30,000 to $40,000 in the red each month to $8,000 to $10,000 in the red.

“We’ve financially tightened things up ” reduced expenses, looked for more efficiency,” Raitano said.

The company has about 850 wireless internet customers in Colorado, Arizona and Utah. Reed, who has worked with 14 other business bankruptcy cases, as well as at his business of financing and building motels, said that Peak Speed simply wasn’t marketed well enough.

There are signal towers in Utah, for example, but no marketing was ever done to attract customers.

“There is a good viable company there,” Reed said.

The new management team will present its findings on Peak Speed’s viability at a Jan. 7 meeting of the Summit County Telecommunications Consortium (SCTC), as well as to the bankruptcy court on Jan. 12.

The SCTC is a group composed of local government officials that won the Beanpole grant and contracted Peak Speed to build a network.

The state’s goal for the grant was to create a local network with a government and nonprofit customer base that would be financially able to attract private subscribers and eliminate the digital divide between urban and rural areas.

Reed said that an audit performed by the SCTC, county staff and Peak Speed’s new managers confirmed that all equipment paid for by taxpayers to build the infrastructure for the Beanpole Project is accounted for, as well.

Raitano said the technology is “brilliant.” The pair added they are charged with finding new services that could work on the Peak Speed network.

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or at rwilliams@summitdaily.com.


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