CEO of Great Works Internet
Fletcher Kittredge doesn’t think good inter- net access should be a luxury. The CEO of Great Works Internet (GWI), a Maine-based internet service provider, believes it’s a basic necessity for all. “It is not really possible today, and in the future will be impossible, to participate in society, hold a job, receive quality health care and education, or receive governmental services without a network connection,” he says. Over the past 25 years, GWI has been committed to digital literacy, open access, market competition, network neutrality, and data privacy. He says reliable internet access enriches communities and helps them thrive. “It is not about streaming videos and social media, but rather solving the fundamental community problems—health care, aging in place, workforce development, business attraction, and telecommuting,” he says. Communities won’t grow if they’re stuck in the past, because young people won’t want to live there and companies won’t want to locate there, Kittredge says. The CEO was a principal investor in the Three Ring Binder project, which completed a 1,100-mile fiber network to connect rural areas of Maine to the internet in 2012. Kittredge is also a board member of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs. “The best way to create jobs is to expand entrepreneurship, particularly beyond the traditional, highly educated urban males to women, the less educated, and rural areas,” he says.