WHAT WE DO
Pear Networks LLC is a new internet service provider (ISP), doing business as Kingdom Fiber, specializing in bringing broadband and voice services to “last-mile” residential, business, and institutional users, specifically in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (NEK).
Broadband internet access is a gatekeeper for equal opportunity, but there are many areas of the NEK lacking connectivity to the internet at the FCC-defined minimum broadband speed. In this 21st century of online information and services and global competition, residents, businesses, and community institutions without equal access to broadband internet find themselves at a rapidly increasing competitive disadvantage compared to their counterparts in affluent, densely populated urban communities worldwide.Kingdom Fiber will work collaboratively with communities across the NEK to deploy fiber-optic infrastructure and provision next generation broadband services utilizing a business model specifically developed for sustainable operation in low-density rural areas.
Fiber-optic communications networks are the undisputed state of the art—the most stable, robust, secure, and “future-proof” technology available. Fiber-optic cable can carry virtually unlimited amounts of data while serving as a platform for transmission of data, images, video, and telephony.
WHO WE ARE
Dedicated to bringing broadband to the NEK, we are a team of seasoned entrepreneurs led by founder and CEO, Michael Birnbaum with over 40 years in communications experience including 12 years of ISP management as the general manager and a principal owner of Cloud Alliance LLC, a successful, angel-backed central Vermont wireless ISP (WISP). The founding of Kingdom Fiber is the culmination of Michael’s cooperative efforts, and the company’s contribution to the economic development of rural Vermont is a personal mission.
Sherry McCuller is an executive with over 40 years’ experience in the investment banking, software development, and management consulting industries with 17 years specifically in rural broadband systems and will join the team as Kingdom Fiber’s administrative and financial manager and in-house FTTP expert.
With over 30 years’ of technical experience, Geoff Shadroui will join the team as the hands-on field operations manager focusing on fiber distribution, last-mile installations, and support. He will also contribute to network administration.
Award-winning former journalist Kevin Ellis brings his extensive experience in local and national governmental affairs consulting and strategic communications and will apply his public engagement and communication skills to organically growing Kingdom Fiber’s subscriber base.
Donnie Smith, a widely respected, early pioneer of the rural FTTP industry, will continue being a strategic consultant to Kingdom Fiber on all things fiber including both the technical and economic sides of the industry.
Founder and CTO of QuantaBits Networks, Christian Ratajczak has been consulting with Kingdom Fiber for more than two years in preparation for a North American pilot deployment of Quantabits equipment and will continue with engineering support of the networks.
WHY WE DO IT
We believe in the resourcefulness and creativity of our neighbors in the Northeast Kingdom. With unfettered, lightning-fast access to the world's markets and culture, new economic, educational, and cultural developments will emerge here organically. This crucial piece of 21st-century infrastructure will help citizens of the Kingdom to prosper and schools and cultural institutions to thrive. Our towns will grow, as more of our young people will find opportunities to make their livings here.
We want to deliver the best broadband and voice services in the Kingdom. In fact, we seek to make these services second to none anywhere. We also strive to give back to the communities, which gave us the opportunity to build this enterprise. We look to hire and source locally, whenever possible. By joining with organizations such as Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Vermont Local, we believe we can have an impact even beyond that of our own industry.
Independent research conclusively indicates that access to high-speed internet (broadband) by households and businesses drives regional growth and development beyond the capabilities of any other factor. A Strategic Network Group (www.sngroup.com) study “has demonstrated that the local economic growth and secondary investment enabled by broadband is 10 times the initial broadband investment.” We intend to make a key contribution to the NEK’s 21st-century, broadband infrastructure by bringing fiber broadband to this underserved market—a critical element to bridge the digital divide from the rest of New England.
We are strongly motivated to serve NEK communities while returning profits to our investors. As part of our mission, we intend to form a related, non-profit company to provide training and subsidies to those who could not otherwise use or afford our services.
HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN
Vermonters! Help us bring better broadband and voice services to the NEK. Let’s light up the Kingdom! Register as an investor today and learn more about Kingdom Fiber and how you can invest in us.