CMC’s Rural Telecon 2000 bridges the `digital divide’ |

CMC’s Rural Telecon 2000 bridges the `digital divide’

Aspen Times staff report

The 2000 Rural Telecommunications Conference, coordinated by Colorado Mountain College, comes to the Aspen Institute Oct. 1 through Oct. 4.

Residents living outside big cities can’t reach the full potential of cyberspace because they don’t have access to high-speed broadband Internet service. The conference is intended to help erase that “digital divide,” the invisible but concrete technological barrier separating rural communities from urban centers.

Toni Black, conference operations director, says the event will not be a “talking head” kind of conference. Instead, she says, it will create interactive situations for optimum learning.

CMC helped bring together two events, the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute and the Aspen Internet Technology Festival, that became the Telecommunications Conference in 1997.

America Online will present its AOL Rural Telecommunications Leadership Awards during the conference. These awards recognize outstanding achievement in rural community development.

Rural Telecon 2000 is not for people who are technological junkies, a press release says, but rather for people and communities that want to make the most of the technology they already have and to acquire future technology to meet their specific needs and objectives. The conference aims to humanize the technology machine by offering a friendly and approachable seminar that addresses important rural and economic development issues.

On-site registration for Rural Telecon 2000 will begin on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 11 a.m. at the Aspen Meadows lobby on the Aspen Institute campus. Registration Monday will be at the Paepcke Building at the Aspen Institute, starting at 7:30 a.m. The registration fee is $225.

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