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VTel Partners with Google to Offer Free Chromebooks to Customers New to the Internet.
Thursday, 31 October 2013 10:37

VTel Partners with Google to Offer Free Chromebooks to Customers New to the Internet
Telephone company to also provide digital literacy training for new users


Springfield, Vt.–– Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) and Google have teamed up to offer digital literacy training opportunities and free computer equipment for Vermont low-income households, and for senior citizens, English-as-a-second-language homes, families with school students, and medical patients who can be treated at home, who are new to the internet.

The VTel Google Chrome program offers a free Google Chromebook to new VTel Internet customers and offers free digital literacy training sessions taught by an experienced VTel trainer.

Google Chromebooks are generally more secure than traditional desk-top computers, and are super-lightweight compared to most portable computers, and are therefore ideally suited to new users concerned about data safety, or about weight and convenience.

“Google Chromebooks are a fantastic introduction to the Internet, because of their safety and simplicity of use, and we are pleased to join with VTel to help new users get online with ease,” said Matt Dunne, Google’s head of community affairs.

Pre-loaded with the Google Drive application, the Chromebook integrates with Google’s free cloud-based software so users can avoid the purchase of costly software licenses.  Optimized for Internet use, the computers ensure that user data is safely stored and backed up in the cloud, with fifteen gigabytes of free storage from Google and two terabytes of storage from VTel.

The VTel Google Chrome Program is intended to help Vermonters make the transition to a broadband culture at a time when VTel is rapidly expanding broadband access in Vermont.

“The VTel GigE network is a ‘true gigabit’ network, featuring a network design that matches the state-of-the-art systems Google is building in Kansas City and Austin,” said VTel’s Vice President of Business Development Diane Guite.  “We are grateful to Google for partnering with us to provide the ideal equipment to help Vermonters get the most from our network and safely get started online.”

VTel was awarded two grants under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act with the purpose of expanding broadband access and adoption in Vermont’s rural and underserved areas.

Most U.S. and international “gigabit” systems, including Verizon FiOS, share a single fiber among multiple users. VTel’s “true gig” system is delivered by a dedicated fiber to every home, not a shared fiber. “The point-to-point active ethernet delivery system we chose offers the highest performance of any residential network design in the world,” said Guite.

To date, over 90 Google Chromebooks have been distributed to Vermonters living in VTel service territory.

“As we build out our network in Vermont we take very seriously our responsibility to help Vermonters learn to use it and leverage the power of the internet in their lives,” Guite said.  “Even if people don't know yet know how to share photos, connect to social networks, and use free online resources, VTel is committed to helping our customers get started.”

VTel has been conducting Internet training classes for more than two years, and calls these VTel Rural Technology Farm Forums. More than 2,000 Farm Forum sessions have been initiated and completed by VTel with hundreds of rural Vermonters. VTel was the first telecommunications company in Vermont to offer an optical-fiber-based network to high schools, and VTel has been serving many of Vermont and New Hampshire’s largest high schools and hospitals for over 10 years.


About VTel

Headquartered in Springfield, Vermont, VTel is a small family-owned communications company serving 21 rural Vermont communities, delivering GigE over fiber to every VTel rural home, with new 4G/LTE wireless services statewide, and with a state-of-the-art 1,400 mile optical fiber network to New York, Montreal, and Boston, delivering 100 Gigdata paths to several of the largest universities in the northeast. VTel prides itself on world-class communications services, while answering customer phone calls with a friendly voice on the first ring.

VTel’s network has been serving rural Vermont since 1890, and provided the phone line that enabled Calvin Coolidge to be sworn in as United States President, at Plymouth Notch, VT, on August 3, 1923. VTel’s executives, highlighting their ‘customer is always right’ tradition, add that President Coolidge’s father asked that the phone line be removed the day after Calvin Coolidge’s inauguration, and the company complied. VTel was the first telephone company in Vermont to offer Internet services, in 1993-1994, and is today pioneering GigE Internet to homes, and super-fast 4G/LTE wireless Internet statewide.

For more information visit www.vermontel.com

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 11:18