Every plan to enhance the economy or attract new people to the state assumes a basic level of internet service which is, frankly, a pipe dream in many parts of Vermont. But everything is different now: the way we shop, learn, communicate, get medical care, go to school, and watch shows have changed radically and will continue to. That is one reason I fought hard for Vermont to ensure net neutrality in the face of the FCC eliminating it.
The state has failed badly, for many reasons, in efforts to expand fiber buildout. We need new approaches, not merely continuing to subsidize traditional providers to extend already almost obsolete DSL lines.
Communications Union Districts are one approach, an internet utility is another, but in this rapidly changing landscape we can’t just wait and see.