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Vantage Point and GVNW Consulting Announce Merger

February 12, 2020

Two industry leaders combine nearly 70 years of experience, more than 350 staff, and 7 office locations.

Vantage Point Solutions and GVNW Consulting are pleased to announce their merger. The two companies combine nearly 70 years of experience, more than 350 staff, and 7 office locations.

Larry Thompson, PE, CEO

“GVNW’s leadership and experience has been an asset to the broadband industry for decades,” said Larry Thompson, PE, PE, CEO of Vantage Point Solutions. “Their staff are knowledgeable and well-respected, and we are extraordinarily happy to be adding their team to our Consulting department.”

“My staff and I could not be more pleased,” said Jeff Smith, CEO of GVNW. “Our areas of expertise complement each other so well. For many years, Vantage Point’s clients have benefitted from the seamless support of having licensed professional engineers on the same team as their consultants. This advantage is now extended to GVNW’s staff and clients as well. That’s a tremendous benefit for the companies we work with.”

Smith and Thompson are both well-known in regulatory circles for their tireless advocacy on behalf of rural broadband providers. Both executives are deeply entrenched in rural policy and have authored countless ex partes, comments, and whitepapers in support of greater broadband access by rural ISPs.

The combined company will have exceptional depth of leadership in Consulting: Smith will pivot slightly to serve as the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, where he will work alongside Vantage Point’s Julie Darrington, Vice President of Consulting, and Doug Eidahl, JD, Vice President of Regulatory and Legal. Larry Thompson will remain CEO of the merged company.

Julie Darrington, VP of Consulting

Broadband (telecom) consulting is notoriously intricate, demanding expertise in feasibility, finance, business operations, strategic planning, market competition, state and federal regulations and compliance, tariffing, program administration, Universal Support Fund and other revenue programs and requirements, executive recruiting, and more, alongside understanding network design, construction, components, and functionality. “The specialized expertise that GVNW brings is a tremendous addition to our existing team,” said Julie Darrington. “There has never been more opportunity for rural broadband providers, and combining our teams’ experience is an absolute win for our clients and the communities they serve.”

Smith agrees. “Our team is especially happy to be joining a group that also does engineering, data networking, and outside plant management. For many years we were able to assist our clients with the consulting, but not those other pieces. That’s a big deal to us, to be able to see our clients through every step of the way.”

Headquarters for the merged company will be at Vantage Point’s corporate office in Mitchell, South Dakota. GVNW’s offices in Portland, Colorado Springs, the San Antonio metro, and Springfield, Illinois will remain, as will Vantage Point’s satellite offices in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the Charlotte, North Carolina metro. “This expanded footprint is an opportunity for us to serve our clients more closely, as well as offering new geographic opportunities for our teams,” Darrington adds.

Vantage Point Solutions provides a comprehensive suite of engineering and consulting services to rural broadband providers. With over 300 employees, including ten licensed professional engineers, they are particularly well-known for navigating the network implications of regulatory and funding program requirements. They are known as well for their success in broadband funding programs, having helped their clients secure more than $1.7 billion in auction, grant, and loan funds for rural deployments.

For fifty years, GVNW has been providing critical support and expertise to rural telecom providers with a particular focus on growth strategies, operations, and organizational effectiveness for their clients. GVNW currently serves companies around the world with the majority consisting of smaller companies located in high cost rural or insular areas.

“It’s really a tremendous alignment of experience, services, and beliefs,” said Thompson. “We’ve worked well together in the past on joint projects, and have a strong mutual respect. Both companies look out for the long-term best interests of our employees and the companies we serve. Both companies believe that improving Rural broadband improves the lives of Rural Americans. We’re very happy to be joining forces.”