Burlington, Vermont: New England’s Gigabit City
BTV Ignite, a partnership between US Ignite and the city of Burlington, Vermont, is dedicated to optimizing Burlington’s powerful gigabit infrastructure as a tool, testbed, and accelerator for economic and social benefits.
When the aquarium in Chattanooga gets a digital visit from a STEM class in Burlington, when a world-class surgeon at UVM Medical Center is able to operate on someone in Montana, and when a local band broadcasts a live Friday night set to devices across the country, there’s one thing they all share—a city-wide fiber-optic gigabit network, improving lives across Burlington and beyond one connection at a time.
Unlocking the potential of this world-class digital resource takes a village. Burlington’s government, business, and academic stakeholders started BTV Ignite in 2014 as a way for local leaders and the community to make an impact by leveraging the fiber-optic network together, rather than in siloes. Burlington’s reputation as an innovation hot spot is growing rapidly, but it’s reputation as a hub of civic spirit and community values has truly stood the test of time.
Burlington is on a mission: to start and grow new businesses, create new jobs, and promote the skills needed to fill them; to offer mind-expanding STEM experiences for students at all levels; and to launch "smart" city services, and ensure these opportunities are inclusive and accessible for everyone.
Though fewer than 50,000 residents live within the city limits, the opportunities in Burlington are bigger than the population would suggest. Far from being just a ski town, Burlington is home to businesses like Burton and Lane Press as well as the University of Vermont, which employs thousands. With beaches and beer festivals, farm-to-table restaurants and a thriving music and art scene, Burlington is as active and full of potential as any city in the United States. The fiber-to-home network made available by Burlington Telecom isn’t just a boon for industry, it benefits the entire Burlington ecosystem.
Bringing gig connections to schools, libraries, museums, maker spaces, research universities, and application development events is just the beginning—through the economic development accelerator group, under the leadership of the city’s Community and Economic Development Office, a constant stream of new applications leveraging network technologies is expected in the coming years. The ultimate goal? To share those applications with othercommunities creating, a ripple effect that could profoundly change the way we live, work and learn across the country. And it all starts here.
Ground-Level Impact: Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable programs for adult women interested in learning web and software development in a judgment-free environment. “We want to see the change of gender dynamics in the technology fields now, we don’t want to wait 20 years,” says Rachel Arnold, co-leader of the organization’s Burlington chapter. With lightning-fast internet capabilities on its side, the Burlington chapter is able to increase the size of meetups, exposing more women to the educational and empowering opportunities it makes possible.