Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

The State of Rural America is Strong But Vulnerable


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

The State of Rural America is strong because of the people and local institutions that allow us to sustain our vital agrarian-based communities. The strength of Rural America can be found in our profound and productive ability to feed the world. The State of Rural America is threatened, however, by the false promises from current […]

Work in Progress: Rural Southwestern Virginia Deserves a Boost


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Rural Southwestern Virginia is home to hard working folks who just want a good steady job. Fortunately, state leaders have been working diligently the past couple of years to bring new, sustainable business and opportunity to Southwestern Virginia. For starters, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and community colleges in the region are retooling […]

21st Century Technology Meets 19th Century Solution


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Charged with bringing fiber optic broadband internet access to all of Vermont by 2013, a Belgian draft horse named Fred is part of the cabling crew. Reuters has the story. In Vermont’s remote Northeast Kingdom an aging Belgian draft horse named Fred is part of a team racing to bring broadband […]

The Punch Line Is At The End


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Once in a while, but not often, the ugly in the world gets to me and I go into my cave and sulk. That’s what yesterday’s silence was about. I couldn’t think of a pleasant thing to say, and figured the most life-affirming thing I could do was keep my hands […]

Fox News’ Lies Keep Them Out of Canada


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson There is no law in the United States requiring broadcasters to tell the truth. We could use a bit of that clean Canadian air down here. Reprinted from Reader Supported News. By Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Reader Supported News 01 March 11 As America’s middle class battles for its survival on […]

Attention Modem Users: Try a Homing Pigeon


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson And now for something completely different. (You didn’t guess I was a Monty Python fan, did you.  See?  You never know….) If you’re still stuck with a slow  Internet connection, as about a third of rural U.S. households are, consider buying a homing pigeon instead, at least for uploading family photos […]

FCC Tames Dog in the Manger


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson In my town, we want cell service so bad we can taste it. It’s a matter of convenience, for sure. But more importantly, the issue is safety. There’s no way to get home from any direction without driving up a long and winding road. Houses, thus land line telephones, can be […]

The Future of the Internet is at Stake


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Posted by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I’ve been working on a piece about the Federal Communications Commission’s request for public comment about the future of the Internet. But Wally Bowen’s June 29 article does it so much better than I can that I’m placing it here, in full, except for his illustrations. If you want to […]

Internet helping boost rural entrepreneurship


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

from The Rural Blog Entrepreneurship is up across the country, but with the help of non-profit organizations and the rise of broadband Internet access, rural areas may getting more than their usual share of business startups. “From 2008 to 2009, the number of self-employed Americans increased by 200,000 to 8.9 million, according to Challenger Gray […]

The Fiber Cometh


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Here in Tiny Town (at the end of this post I’ll stop being coy abut the town’s real name) our locally built and operated broadband  enterprise is profitable, and we expect to have paid back the $40,000 the August 2008 town meeting voted to lend us by some time in 2012. […]


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/110803/domains/ruralvotes.com/html/thebackforty/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524