A team of local volunteers has joined a statewide effort to bring high-speed Internet to every home, school, organization and business in the state.
With fast Internet service, students can watch live science experiments hundreds of miles away; doctors can get a quick second opinion on an x-ray; and farmers can keep track of their livestock using small radio tags.
The Macon County eCommunity Leadership Team is dedicated to making more technology available locally. The committee is part of Tennessee 's plan to deliver statewide access to high-speed Internet, also called broadband. Ultimately, the goal of the Trail to Innovation is to increase the number of high-tech companies and jobs in Tennessee .
Eventually, every county will have its own technology team. Several local leaders already are involved in Macon County 's eCommunity Leadership Team. The team is now in the process of evaluating the current state of technology in the county, determine what improvements are needed and devise a plan for achieving those goals.
The evaluation process is designed to provide a benchmark for the community's current readiness to participate in the enormous economic, social, governmental and personal changes that high-speed communications entail. More importantly, this guide provides a vision of specific steps and actions the community-government, businesses, schools, community groups, and citizens-can take to benefit from these changes.
Macon County is an area of Tennessee that is ripe for technology advancement. Currently 30% of Macon County residents subscribe to broadband, compared to 50% statewide. Through the eCommunity Leadership process, Connected Tennessee will work to share the benefits of broadband e-technology encouraging broadband adoption throughout Macon County.
Macon County Mayor Shelvy Linville, in attendance at the meeting, is excited to see the opportunities for technological progress that the eCS process will bring to Macon County. Linville said: “With all the modern technology in today's world we actually have the knowledge of the entire world at our fingertips. I want our citizens to be aware of the opportunities and educated to be able to use the technology available to them.”
Community members interested in the project are welcome to join future meetings. Volunteers represent the following areas: Agriculture, Business and industry, Community-based organizations, Government, Healthcare, Higher education, K-12 education, Libraries, Tourism, recreation and parks
The meetings are organized by Connected Tennessee, a non-profit group that is working to accelerate the availability and use of technology throughout the state towards creating a better business environment, more effective community and economic development, improved healthcare, enhanced education and more efficient government.
The use of broadband technology is already enhancing the lives and businesses of citizens all across the state. In fact, 49% of Tennessee businesses say that broadband has already improved the success of their business. Many companies cite the availability of broadband as essential to starting or expanding their operations. Technology enables small business people to live in a rural area and sell their products around the world. It also enables large companies to work more efficiently.
Broadband also promises to boost the economy and quality of life in Tennessee . For example, doctors can remotely monitor patients with chronic illnesses, working parents can complete their college degrees by attending classes online and tourists can make online reservations.
If you have suggestions regarding how technology in your community can be improved upon to better serve the citizens of your county, Connected Tennessee wants to hear from you. To learn more or to submit your comments or ideas, please visit the Connected Tennessee website at www.connectedtn.org.
For more information about the project or to join the eCommunity Leadership Team, please contact Connected Tennessee Middle Tennessee eCommunity Project Manager Larry Raybon at (615) 310-0888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next meeting of the Macon County eCommunity Leadership Team will be on Thursday, February 12th at 10 a.m. in the Courtroom at the Courthouse on the square.