Vermont is working to become the first “e-State” with availability of broadband internet and cell phone coverage across 100% of the state… by 2010. The “100% of the state” bit is ambitious and lots of people, organizations are businesses and contributing toward the realization of this goal.
The State of Vermont justifies this ambition saying it will be good for economic development, healthcare, education, public safety and more. And part of the “and more” usually includes a vague reference to the e-State being good for society and civic engagement. Can the internet and cell phones enhance the sense of community in a town? Many people feel these tools actually turn people’s attention away from local community.
Explore public policy issues, opportunities, and potential obstacles that will arise as Vermont becomes fully connected.
- How might civic life change in a fully connected state?
- How will we master emerging technologies so they unite us and strengthen communities?
- How will we address issues of privacy, equity, resistance to change, ownership, and cost?
- How will local and state governmental units ensure that all citizens have equal access to information and participation?