Broadband Blues in Vermont

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I’ve been spending the last week at a friend’s house with no internet and limited cell reach.  Lemme tell ya, it’s been an eye-opening experience for me.  Making my living solely on the internet, I didn’t realize how much I take my great high speed internet service in Williamstown for granted. 

I bought a USB Shockwave from AT&T hoping that would get me through the week.  Nope.  While it looked pretty, it just didn’t put out – no signal means missed emails, no way of uploading credit card payments, not to mention a screeching halt to any online marketing.  Thankfully, my situation is temporary.  For many Vermonters and my friends in upstate New York, this is something that they deal with on a regular basis.  It can cripple or kill off a great business very quickly.  So what’s being done?

The e-Vermont Community Broadband Project began in May, 2010, with intensive work in individual communities. Got Clicks has been invited to teach 2 workshops this Saturday to help people learn how to use the internet to promote their businesses and non-profits online affordably (those of you who know me realize I’ve been beating this drum for years) – nice that there is some muscle behind this initiative.
The Vt SBDC, CCV and The Snelling Center are all important cogs of this informational wheel.  The Snelling Center’s intention:
At the end of this work:
• Community leaders will utilize broadband to engage the community and promote civic life. They will model the thoughtful and effective use of technology through existing groups and networks, as well as act as evangelists, organizers and trainers.
• Statewide leaders will increase their use of broadband in communicating with constituents, and have the information to effectively champion projects and policies that make the best use of broadband in Vermont.
The Snelling Center will ensure that knowledge taken from the e-Vermont project benefits local, grassroots groups, the region and the state.
Well, this is just what the doctor ordered for Got Clicks!  In January, I will be teaching Williamstown middle and high school students how to work with Barre business owners to promote their businesses on the Barre Partnership Directory.  I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that project.  Students will learn basic graphics, seo and internet marketing skills while helping local businesses grow online.  I will act as their mentor.  I’ll be sending updates on the blog – so stay tuned!


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