Peak up to speed? |

Peak up to speed?

If we are to believe the white hats now running Peak Speed, the county and taxpayers lucked out. The high-speed wireless internet network, funded in part with a $464,000 state grant, according to John Reed and Flo Raitano, is a good technology.

The problem, they said, is the business was run haphazardly, to say the least, and the former owners, Greg and Judith Friedman, paid themselves well ” and first ” not the way a start-up entrepreneurial company succeeds. That’s the short version of the story.

To sum it up, the business practices were horrible; the technology is good ” “brilliant” in Raitano’s description. Given the troubled financial history of Peak Speed and its bankrupt predecessor, Netbeam, we were expecting the worst.

Reed, Raitano and company are assigned by the federal bankruptcy court to sort out Peak Speed and get it ready for new investors, which may well turn out to be Reed’s investment and bankruptcy work-out company, Eureka Financial LLC of Louisville.

Reed said that for all of Peak Speed’s troubles, high-tech investors see a viable idea and are interested in the company. We suppose that’s another vote of confidence in the system. Of course, we haven’t heard from the customers ” yet.

Among other things, they have to figure out how many of the 850 subscribers in the three states Peak Speed serves are paying. They also plan to streamline rates and determine what other kinds of services the Peak Speed network can sell. In Reed’s mind, once the dirty work is done, marketing to new customers is the magic bullet.

The other good news, they said, is that the equipment bought by the state’s Beanpole grant, and other equipment placed at Peak Speed’s Airport Road office by the state as part of its larger high-speed internet connection program, is clearly labeled and present.

Raitano said county officials did a good job protecting the public’s interest when they contracted the troubled Peak Speed network. Leading that effort were attorney Dan Teodoru, assistant county manager Sue Boyd and information systems director Byron Rice.

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