Broadband “huge strategic initiative for our community” —Mary Gooding for VSU @ VLCIA 2013-02-19

Mary Gooding spoke up for VSU at the Industrial Authority 19 February 2013, saying that VSU President McKinney was in Athens (as was President Perrin of Wiregrass), but he and VSU:

We too believe that this is a huge strategic initiative for our community. And we were thrilled after the meeting that we attended that the city, the county, both educational institutions, the Industrial Authority, everyone there, the hospital for sure, all agreed that this had to be a significant incentive.

Mary Gooding added:

At Valdosta State it’s becoming one of our biggest road barriers to online degrees, to online classes. That’s again more bandwidth that’s needed to be able to deliver degrees and classes online.

That’s all good, but where were the superintendents and school boards of the two K-12 school systems? Where were library users and staff and the library board that doesn’t seem to like the Internet bringing transparency to their own meetings? Where was Idelle Dear, who previously explained to the Lowndes County Commission that:

Many people use the library who can’t afford Internet at home. They use it for filling out job applications, for doing homework… many uses of the Internet…. And of course there are a lot of people who check out books, check out DVDs, use the meeting rooms constantly, and there are all the education programs for the children. So the library is very much needed and very important for the community.
Where were the VLCIA focus group participants who brought this issue to the Industrial Authority’s attention last summer? This isn’t an initiative that closed-room meetings is going to make strategic. If it’s for the community, it needs to involve the community.

And unfortunately it’s clear that much of what Mary Gooding said wasn’t heard; see next post.