Telecommunications

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott signed an executive order Tuesday to create a Cybersecurity Advisory Team. The 10-member group will work to strengthen how the state responds to cyber threats.

A dispute between Comcast and the state's public access TV stations could be headed to court.

The federal government says the Springfield-based company VTel has defaulted on money awarded to provide cellular phone service in some parts of Vermont.

The Public Service Board has agreed to open a hearing to settle a long running dispute between VTel and Springfield Area Public Access Television (SAPA).

Steve Zind / VPR/file

FairPoint Communications is in the midst of a Public Service Board investigation into repair delays experienced by the company’s telephone customers. 

But Fairpoint officials say the fact they’re required to meet certain quality standards is inherently unfair, and they want state regulators to do away with the standards.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Vermonters may soon have the option to get cell phone service through a new company, though it’s likely one they already use regularly.

Following the first negotiating session since labor contracts with FairPoint Communications expired 12 days ago, an official with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Vermont expressed frustration with the status of the talks. 

Mike Spillane, who is part of the IBEW negotiating team, said the two sides met with a federal mediator in Portland, Maine on Wednesday. 

Spillane says Thursday morning the union offered a contract package that was “further than we wanted to go.” 

Steve Zind / VPR

Two union contracts between FairPoint Communications and approximately 2,000 workers in Northern New England expired last Saturday. 

For the moment, workers are staying on the job under the terms of the old contract.  The next meeting between FairPoint and union negotiators will take place on Wednesday, August 13.

Mike Spillane, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Vermont, says he’s been hearing from members.

Sen. Patrick Leahy joined an unlikely group in Burlington today to show off his new legislation that will make it easier for used cell phones to work on a variety of cellular networks.

At the Women Helping Battered Women offices in Burlington, Leahy introduced women’s advocates and a telecom official to speak about the new bill, which he said will help shelters like the one in Burlington.

Leahy said the new law will help shelters use donated phones to pass out to women in need.