Despite rough times for RoFIntUG, no sale or merger in offing |

Despite rough times for RoFIntUG, no sale or merger in offing

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Roaring Fork Internet Users Group, an Internet service provider commonly known as RoFIntUG, could be sold or merged into another company sometime in the next two years, RoFIntUG board member Joe O’Donnell said.

But he insists nothing is imminent.

“There are absolutely no immediate plans to do anything with RoFIntUG. It’s not going anywhere,” he said Tuesday.

O’Donnell made his comments in response to an e-mail sent to RoFIntUG members by the ISP’s co-founder, Richard Sherman.

In the e-mail, Sherman stated concern that the RoFIntUG board was planning to “sell the assets to a for-profit corporation and use the proceeds for their own projects.”

On Tuesday, O’Donnell said that’s not true.

“This all came about because the board made a decision to do some long-range planning,” O’Donnell said.

Part of that planning includes the possibility that the service could be sold or merged with another company. But O’Donnell said that option would only be used as a last resort.

Founded in 1995, RoFIntUG is a nonprofit Internet service provider. It was the first local provider of dial-up Internet access, e-mail, Web site, and Usenet newsgroup services. Each of the 3,500 subscribers is considered a member.

Because RoFIntUG primarily provides dial-up Internet service, O’Donnell said it has been losing members as they switch to faster broadband systems or cheaper dial-up providers. The board’s long-range planning is aimed at finding ways to reverse this trend.

“We cannot afford to sit on our hands and wake up one morning and find out we’re bankrupt,” O’Donnell said.

RoFIntUG president Donni Cochran said there has been discussion among board members about whether to sell or merge RoFIntUG, but she also said nothing will happen without the members’ knowledge.

“There were some people on the board who expressed interest in that kind of move, but the board has not ” and the board cannot ” make any kind of decision like that,” she said. “RoFIntUG is just kind of re-evaluating where we are and where we’re going.”

She said on a positive note, rumors about the ISP’s sale have generated renewed interest in it.

“We’ve gotten lots and lots of interest and we should be getting more board members,” she said.

A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, for members to ask the board questions about the status of their ISP. The location has not yet been determined, but Cochran said she’ll send e-mails announcing the location.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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