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January 04, 2007

Vermont to have cellular and WiFi access *everywhere* within the state!

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas laid out very ambitious plans in his Inaugural Address, "The Vermont Way Forward," today. Amongst many of the compelling ideas he outlined in his agenda, is to focus on the Environment and also Broadband Internet and Cell Phone Signal Availability.

"I propose that by 2010, Vermont be the nation's first true 'e-state' – the first state to provide universal cellular and broadband coverage everywhere and anywhere within its borders," Governor Douglas said. "When you turn on your laptop, you’re connected. When you hit the send button on your cell phone, the call goes through. There would be no more endless downloads, no more hopeless hellos, and no more 'can you hear me now.'"

This is where the entire country needs to be! Douglas gets it. We now need to make sure the entire Vermont Legislator gets it too. Then we can start working on the US Congress. Though, we still need to convince some of them that the Internet is not a Series of Tubes.

Excerpt of Douglas's speech:

"...In my hand there is wireless mobility, complete access and clear connections. In my hand is fairness and equity for all of Vermont. In my hand is both freedom and unity. [Douglas Held up a Smartphone]

In three years, this phone will be capable of downloading email, images and video at speeds faster than most home broadband today. It will allow Vermonters to work from anywhere, anytime, unimpeded by spotty coverage, bad connections and the constant aggravation of dropped calls.

We've made great strides in improving cellular coverage along main corridors, but large areas of Vermont still have no signal. Although in the last three years we've helped over 45,000 more homes and offices get access to broadband internet – so nearly 90% of Vermont homes have access – the remaining 10% will take many more years to reach by traditional means.

While we take incremental steps to build a hard-wired network, the wireless world moves ahead. Homes that do not have broadband available are becoming increasingly difficult to sell. Entrepreneurs looking to start a new business will barely consider breaking ground in a community without good cellular coverage. Broadband internet and wireless cellular are no longer mere conveniences afforded to urbanites or the well-heeled; they are a fundamental part of modern life for all Vermonters, as essential as electricity and good roads. This is the technological foundation of the Vermont Way Forward.

Thanks to the work we've done, Vermont is well positioned to leap over existing technology and support both broadband and cellular communications for the entire state.

Wireless communications and broadband internet access are near the point of convergence – meaning the technologies that support each will be the same. More specifically, modern telecommunications will be based on Internet Protocol, or IP, a digital language that can support voice calls – like cell phones and standard telephones – as well as internet communications – such as email and web pages.

Building on these technological advances, I propose that by 2010, Vermont be the nation's first true 'e-state' – the first state to provide universal cellular and broadband coverage everywhere and anywhere within its borders. When you turn on your laptop, you're connected. When you hit the send button on your cell phone, the call goes through. There would be no more endless downloads, no more hopeless hellos, and no more 'can you hear me now.'

This goal is within our grasp if we move quickly and decisively during this legislative session.

To facilitate the creation of our 'e-state,' I propose a Vermont Telecommunications Authority that will partner with private enterprise to build a next generation infrastructure that supports universal broadband and cellular coverage. The state will back $40 million of bonding by the Authority, which will leverage more than $200 million in private investment. The Authority will serve as a bridge between public sector efforts and private sector investments and will seek to complement – not replace – the role of service providers and infrastructure developers.

Unlike building more roads or bigger buildings to support growth, the commercial infrastructure of tomorrow will be almost invisible, but for a handful of towers and antennas..."

Posted in Politics & Law , Today's Headlines , Vermont , WiFi by usrbingeek at 2007-01-04 23:35 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink



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