...in plans for universal cell and broadband coverage. The state Senate voted 132-2 to provide always on, everywhere coverage within the state's borders by 2010. Despite the immediate and inevitable application of the ubiquitous (e) moniker (e-state), the initiative is quite interesting. It led to an op-ed in the Washington Post that the state secede from the nation. This movement, it turns out, is led by several in-staters, who publish an online paper, the Vermont Commons. They want to return the state to its late 18th Century status as an independent republic.
Vermont - a state that values equal rights, provides free, universal wifi, maintains a focus on sustainability, and that brought the world Ben and Jerry's. The e-state initiative - A blend of citizen activism, new technologies, digital media, and state government. I don't know where all this is leading, (although it sounds distinctly and wonderfully more Canadian than American). I'm also not yet sure where the philanthropic angle is on this story - other than in the grassroots organizing. Maybe the story is in the ABSENCE of institutional philanthropy? I'll keep looking and get back to you.
FULL DISCLOSURE: While my real roots are in NY and I now live in CA, I spent much of my childhood - nearly every weekend from October to April, from ~ 1966 - 1981, in VT. I pay (minuscule) property taxes in Vermont. I hope to be in VT again, soon. And, if the state secedes, I will certainly apply for citizenship.