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The Challenges Of Bringing Broadband To Vermont’s Hills And Hollows

This laptop at Jenny Green's North Danville home is connected via dial-up modem to the internet. For faster speeds, Green will drive six miles into Danville to the library or local bakery. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

This laptop at Jenny Green’s North Danville home is connected via dial-up modem to the internet. For faster speeds, Green will drive six miles into Danville to the library or local bakery. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

The promise of modern communications has bypassed many people and many rural communities in Vermont. And once again, the Legislature and the governor are promising to do more to deliver broadband to underserved areas.

Broadband internet is universally seen as key to economic development, education and improving the quality of life. Yet at Jenny Green’s house in North Danville, the anachronistic tones of a dial-up modem are not a reminder of the past. It’s how she connects with the digital world today.

A blue wheel turned slowly clockwise on her computer screen as Green waited for a website to load.

“I would say this is longer than usual,” Green said on this particular occasion. “And frankly, when it gets like this, I just say the heck with it.”

Almost five minutes passed before the page slowly appeared.

Visit VPR for the full story.