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January 27, 2007

Vermont Governor to Speak at F2C

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Vermont Governor Jim Douglas will be the lead-off keynoter at David Isenberg’s Freedom to Connect (F2C) Conference in Silver Spring Maryland on March 5 at 9:00 AM.  At David’s invitation, the Governor will talk about his plan for Vermont to become the first e-state in the nation by providing everywhere and anywhere border-to-border broadband and cellular connectivity no later than 2010.  BTW, “everywhere” includes roaming so, open your laptop anywhere in Vermont and you’ll be able to get online.

Being an e-state also means building the next set of government services based on the assumption of universal connectivity.

In case you’re not familiar with it, F2C is the absolutely unbuttoned down deep thought conference of telecommunications.  You’ll find movers and shakers here (some ducked down in hiding); you’ll find thinkers; and you’ll find those who have been and those who will be the guiding forces in telecommunications.  There’s no way you’ll agree with everything that’s said and plenty of ways to make your opinion known whether you’re on the formal program or not.

This year the conference runs March 5 and 6.  The theme statement is:

“It is written that Freedom of the Press is only for those with presses. Internet technology now makes Freedom of the Press available to about 1,000,000,000 people, one sixth of Earth's inhabitants. How does this change the fundamental operating assumptions of society?”  Big question.  The speaker who’ll help frame it is the brilliant Yochai Benkler from Yale.

A few of my other favorite speakers at F2C this year are Dan Gillmor (an ex-Vermonter), Susan Crawford, Blair Levin, and David Weinberger.

I’ll be introducing Governor Douglas and moderating that session.  The idea is to leave plenty of time for participation.  Questions are welcome, obviously, but so are suggestions.  Getting universal connectivity in three years in a mountainous state while preserving the environment means that some invention is gonna be needed.  The State of Vermont sees itself an enabler but certainly not the whole solution by any means. 

Private sector participation is not only welcome, it’s essential for success.  Hopefully you’ll get so excited about the prospect of an e-state that you’ll come build a business here or at least make Vermont the lab for your products or services which assume universal connectivity.  F2C’ll be a great place both to learn more about what Vermont is doing and suggest to Vermont what it ought to do.

More on Yochai:

Good News – People are Social Animals

America’s Antiterrorism Network – Distributed Data Storage

More on Vermont’s plans:

Vermont, The First E-State

More on Vermont, The First E-State

Vermont, The First E-State – First Reactions

What’s an E-state?

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