Manchester Vermont Boosts Its Emergency Response with New Sovernet Connection

BELLOWS FALLS, VT (April 8, 2015) - The southern Vermont town of Manchester just became an even safer community to live and work in, thanks to a boost to its emergency response systems from Sovernet Communication’s state-of-the-art fiber network. Town officials credit the recent data network upgrade for directly strengthening the town’s police department and Emergency Management Office responsiveness and, in addition, enabling a number of municipal online initiatives.

Manchester Town Manager, John O’Keefe, praised the town’s decision to connect several town services and departments to Sovernet’s fiber network. O’Keefe, who also serves as the town’s Emergency Management Director said, “We are particularly benefiting from the super-fast Sovernet fiber at the police department. Importantly, this also serves our emergency operations center, which is not only responsible for coordinating and planning responses to all of our local emergencies, it’s the only EOC in southern Vermont and is used by both the state police and the state emergency management people.”


Manchester’s municipal government has multiple departments and offices that provide vital services, including those for police, fire, parks and recreation, public works, water and sewer, and offices for the town manager and town clerk, zoning and planning, and economic development, among others. Most of these entities connect seamlessly to the same Sovernet-supplied data network that is managed virtually from the Town of Manchester Municipal Complex in Manchester Center.

Although the Manchester Public Safety Facility which houses the police and emergency offices are in the same complex as several other town offices, it was important for the emergency management connection to be separate for security and for redundancy. These departments have a vital link to the statewide Vermont Emergency Management system.

“We worked closely with Town Manager O’Keefe and his staff to create a custom solution that enabled a cost-effective additional secure fiber connection dedicated to supporting the Emergency Management Office,” said Bill LaCour, southern Vermont Business Accounts Manager at Sovernet Communications. “It was really important to meet the state’s requirements, while providing services that stayed within the town’s budget.”

The upgrade of Manchester’s data network comes on the heels of a dramatically increased online presence for the town, including moving payment for some town services and public notifications online, and effective use of social media for a range of topics, from recreational to informational to public safety.

“Manchester’s internet usage has increased over the last few years, as we’ve purposely looked for ways to streamline town communications and quickly place information online after Tropical Storm Irene,” O’Keefe said. “We’re also reducing our expenditure on communications and revenue collection, by leveraging online platforms.”

About the Town of Manchester
Manchester, Vermont is a historic town located at the foot of Mount Equinox along Route 7 with a full-time population of Manchester is approximately 4,400. It is one of two shire towns or county seats of Bennington County in southern Vermont. Manchester Village, an incorporated village, and Manchester Center are settlement centers within the town. Manchester Village offers a tranquil old-world atmosphere, and Manchester Center is a shopper's paradise. Manchester offers a unique blend of New England charm, style, arts & culture, and is a popular four-season tourist destination for Vermont vacations. The slogan of the town is “Manchester is a town on the MOVE!”

About Sovernet CommunicationsSovernet is a leading regional provider of high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet, and voice services over its 4,500 mile fiber network in northern New England and New York. Sovernet delivers services of up to 100 Gbps to enterprise, carrier, community institution, and government customers throughout the region. Headquartered in Bellows Falls, Vermont, Sovernet also has office and data center facilities in Williston, Vermont; a subsidiary operating under the name of ION in Albany, New York; and other facilities throughout New York, Vermont, and southwest New Hampshire. For more information please visit and