Broadband opens up unprecedented opportunities for Vermonters. With access to people and information anywhere in the world, we can broaden the reach of business, education, and social connections. With interactive communications tools we can strengthen community close to home, through civic engagement, information shared with neighbors, and tools to launch and manage projects of local importance. The tools of the digital age offer everyone new ways to be creative and engaged in life in Vermont.
Ensuring that Vermonters can make the most of our broadband resources is a complicated process. We need infrastructure, which will be available throughout Vermont by the end of 2013, but we also need the adoption rates that justify broadband build out today and upgrades tomorrow. We need to know how to use the Internet. For some people this learning is basic digital literacy, but “digital literacy” doesn’t stop at knowing how to visit a website, it’s a process of applying online tools to individual, business, and community goals as well as staying up to date as those tools evolve. And we need to be able to guide a new generation in responsible use of online tools and in imagining their potential. Every Vermonter has a role to play in defining the digital culture of our rural towns.T
he e-Vermont Community Broadband Project highlighted successful strategies for truly closing Vermont’s digital divide. e-Vermont brought together some of these strategies for a comprehensive approach in 24 communities. While our collaborative project is now complete, each of our partners will continue their good work across the state. We are also encouraged by the robust networks of organizations, businesses and individuals beyond the immediate e-Vermont partnership who are bringing broadband to rural communities.
There is so much to celebrate in the creative ways communities and businesses are moving forward in rural Vermont today. We are excited by all that we have accomplished with our state and local partners through e-Vermont, and we look forward to ongoing innovation that continues to advance opportunities for all Vermonters.
e-Vermont was built on partnership. Its successes have been the result of a great alliance of organizations, state, federal and private leadership, committed local champions and dedicated philanthropic investors. We deeply appreciate the contributions of so many to our common efforts in service to the future of rural Vermont.
e-Vermont Funding Partners
Mary Kay Dreher
Helen Labun Jordan
Margaret Gibson McCoy
Secretary Lawrence Miller
Commissioner Annie Noonan
Secretary Doug Racine
Mark Snelling Kathy Soulia
Secretary Jeb Spaulding
The e-Vermont Partnership would like to thank the Shumlin Administration for its consistent and determined leadership to advance telecommunications in Vermont, and the offices of Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Congressman Welch for their advice, support and dedication to the progress of e-Vermont and Vermont’s Digital Future.
But most of all, we are encouraged by the leadership, dedication, and capability of Vermont digital leaders active as champions in each of the 24 e-Vermont Communities and throughout the state. They are sowing the seeds of community communications, innovation and future prosperity; they are Vermont’s digital heroes.