As a follow-up to my earlier posts about ubiquitous wireless Internet access and the need for a rural Internet initiative, here’s some news from Vermont. In a recent address to the state called the Vermont Way Forward, Governor Jim Douglas proposed that a statewide wireless initiative be in place by 2010. Here are some excerpts:

The critical infrastructure for the future of Vermont will not much
look like a car, a culvert or a bend in the road. It will look like this
[he was holding up a cell phone]. 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.

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.

The advantages of a state-of-the-art telecommunications platform extend
well beyond the economic value of the Vermont Way Forward. A true
"e-state" enhances our public safety network, extends the reach of
health care, and improves the education of young Vermonters.

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 I talk about us needing more leaders, not managers; when I talk about us needing folks who are proactive rather than reactive; when I talk about us needing people who are future-oriented rather than compliance-oriented, this is what I’m talking about.

You can read a quick summary or the full text of Governor Douglas’ speech. Go Vermont!