21st Century Technology Meets 19th Century Solution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. [...]

Cell Phone Saves Hiker in Avalanche

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Not that I begrudge this hiker his rescue, but this story makes my teeth itch. A man hiking on Granite Mountain, near Seattle, was trapped in an avalanche that swept him 100 feet from the trail. Normally, that would be the end of the story and the rest of this blog [...]

The Little Town That Could — Broadband Update

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Not only could we start our own tiny town’s broadband system, we did it. In August, 2008, this town of 750 people voted to borrow $40,000 to start building a wireless broadband system that we hope will eventually serve the entire town.  As it has turned out, we didn’t need to [...]