Later this week,
your superintendent is going to get a request for a letter of support for the
VTA broadband work that the VTDOE is involved in.
That letter is
crucial to us in that we are involved in a Broadband Technology Opportunities
Program (BTOP) and it could mean substantial funding for last mile connections
for fiber to Vermont schools. This could significantly change our Internet
Anyways.. The letter
that needs to be sent back to Commissioner Vilaseca (and ultimately
find its way to my desk) has to have some compelling reasons for need of
broadband access and quality for your schools and/or SU. Yep, I know
that you know this a "no-brainer".. we have suffered long enough, but the
compelling parts of this application are the letters of support from the
community anchor institutions which are of course our schools.
So, my need for your
help is two-fold.
inquire to your superintendent about the letter and whether they have seen the
notice. It is coming in the Thursday, Feb. 25 Weekly Field Memo from the
Department. (it is also being sent to Tech coordinators). Just try to be
sure it is on their radar.
2. Please help
them all you can in providing empirical, statistical information on the section
of the letter that calls for it. If you can indicate the current broadband
up, down through-put rates, the issues you may have with resetting routers and
cable modems, (how many times a day, week, etc.) your issues with using video,
audio, media resources, things you would not block if you had more bandwidth,
things you see coming down the pike that will impact your bandwidth, I think you
get the picture. The more compelling and the more need we indicate the
better our application will be. Make it personal where you can.. "Our K-8
students that come from homes with high poverty have been studying Russian
culture, they have an opportunity to connect to a classrom there, and will not
be able to unless we bus them to New Hampshire, where they have a robust
connection etc. etc." Maybe add that they'll have to walk across the
frozen Connecticut river... mmm never mind..
Like I say...this is
important for this application.. Potential funds on this are 20-50 million
Some of you are
saying, but we sent a letter last SPring.. that you did .. those are being used
to help connect some schools this year to the VTA funded network. This new
letter is different because it asks specifically for local examples of
We need the letters
back from Superintendents .. signed and on SU letterhead no later than March
8th. I know.. tight deadline.. sorry, but this has been building up
as we develop the letter.. trying to coordinate this with 4 other
Anyways.. many, many
Call or email
if you want a bit more information....
Vermont Department of
120 State St.