We hear a lot about bringing broadband to Vermont’s most rural reaches, but then what?
That’s the question a group of agencies and organizations led by the Vermont Council On Rural Development has been helping communities answer for the past two years in the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project.
They were concerned that even with broadband in their communities, some people wouldn’t have a clear idea of the benefits or they might not have access to a computer. Others, like businesses, libraries and schools might not have the resources to take advantage of broadband.
With a grant from the SBA, the program chose two dozen of Vermont’s rural communities to work with to figure out how to use broadband to address local needs and break down economic and other barriers that create the digital divide. The project has now finished its work. Here are a few of the things it says it has accomplished:
- Distributed more than 1,300 Netbooks to schools.
- Conducted 3,000 educator trainings.
- Worked with more than 140 businesses.
- Helped municipalities create Websites (and developed tools to help other communities).
- Worked with libraries to upgrade technology and improve online services.
- Helped expand community based social networking through the use of online forums.