Northeast Kingdom, Vermont–NEK Broadband announced two new hires today: Marc Hughes as the district’s Operations Project Manager, and Erik Townsend as the organization’s GIS Specialist and Project Manager.
NEK Broadband is a Communications Union District (CUD) that includes every town in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, plus Wolcott. A community non-profit, the organization is working to bring reliable high-speed broadband to the region, and is planning to offer service in portions of 90% of its member towns by the end of 2024. The foundation, or “backbone” of this fiber-optic network is currently being built.
“Both Marc and Erik bring a high level of expertise to NEK Broadband,” said Executive Director Christa Shute. “Their decades of experience and perspective will be invaluable to the organization as we work to accelerate our delivery of high-speed internet to our communities.”
Hughes spent nearly twenty-five years in Operations Management with Verizon Wireless and Unicel, serving states across the northeast. An Army veteran and former E-3 Senior Airman in the 282nd Combat Communications Squadron, his technical training comes courtesy of the US Air Force Ground Radio School, and he brings over three decades of telecommunications experience to the organization.
“I’m looking forward to bringing my skills to the NEK Broadband district,” said Hughes. “I’m excited to work on bringing broadband to the underserved in the region.”
Erik Townsend comes to NEK Broadband with 15 years of GIS experience in the Natural Resources and Forestry professions, earning a Geographic Information Systems Professional Certification in 2015. As a native of the Northeast Kingdom, he is excited to be part of an organization whose mission is to help serve the community where he’s spent most of his life. Prior to becoming an employee, Erik was the district’s board member representing the town of Westmore where he is also a Lister, E911 Coordinator, and Tree Warden.
“I’m proud to be part of an organization bringing high-speed internet to the area,” said Townsend. “Bridging the digital divide is key to thriving rural communities, schools, and businesses.”
Residents of the Northeast Kingdom and Wolcott are encouraged to complete the form at get.nekbroadband.org to pre-order internet service and receive updates.