The e-Vermont Community Broadband Project, led by VCRD, is now active in 24 Vermont rural communities. The towns are tapping into the expertise and resources of e-Vermont’s statewide partners as the local groups develop ways to take full advantage of the Internet for creating jobs and innovative schools, providing social services, and increasing community connection. These towns, selected from a larger pool of applicants, are among the first to explore how the Internet can be harnessed as a tool for addressing local challenges. ‘We’re working with rural communities to support the best use of high speed Internet tools in business, government, and education, and help eliminate the digital divide,’ says Project Director Helen Labun Jordan, ‘Rural regions can’t be left behind in digital skills. We may be receiving high speed Internet later than more urban areas, but e-Vermont is helping our towns make up for lost time.’e-Vermont is one of only twelve projects nationwide to have received first round funding from the federal Sustainable Broadband Adoption grants program and one of only two that takes a community-based approach. This program focuses on use of broadband after infrastructure has been developed, as both a complement to infrastructure funding and a way to build a better business case for broadband in previously underserved areas.The 2010 towns (see map) are already seeing great benefits, including:Sunderland – Arlington – Sandgate are adding technology to the celebration of their 250th Town Charter Anniversaries in 2011. High school community service students will create a website based on the historical holdings of Martha Canfield Library’s Russell Vermontiana Collection. Learn more.Gallup Brook Fencing, a small business in Cambridge, has the honor of being the first of many web sites to come that were launched with the help of e-Vermont and its partner the Vermont Small Business Development Corporation. Owners Troy and Jessica Steel worked with SBDC coordinator Pat Ripley on the design and content. To see the result, click here or read an online interview with the Troys.Five towns (Bristol, Ludlow, Poultney, Newport and West Rutland) are exploring the feasibility of creating public access Wi-Fi zones in their town centers in order to promote their communities and provide visitors with information about local events, services, entertainment and hospitality. These towns were originally inspired by Wireless Woodstock, a community-managed Wi-Fi zone that went live over the summer.
Chairwoman of the New York State Senate Education Committee says libraries have been an essential part of the community since the beginning of the pandemic. The Southern Tier will receive $1,732,024 to go towards financing new construction projects. Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa says libraries give communities constant access to updated resources. “Libraries give entire communities the resources they need to thrive by providing access to broadband and are natural partners in education,” Interim Commissioner Rosa said. “New Yorkers will also be able to use these updated resources for better access to healthcare, workforce resources, social services, financial institutions and goods and services.” “COVID has made it clearer than ever that our public libraries are essential community centers and trusted sources of information. Throughout the pandemic, our libraries adapted and shifted their services online to remain essential centers for our communities,” Chairwoman of the New York State Senate Education Committee Shelley B. Mayer said in a statement sent to 12 News. (WBNG) — The New York State Department of Education announced they awarded $34 million in aid to 232 public libraries across the state to support construction and renovation projects. The department of education says the money will go towards creating new buildings or additions, update electrical wiring and computer technology, improve broadband infrastructure, renovate facilities to provide accessibility to disabled users and more.