If you work at home then having broadband is no small matter – it’s your lifeline. This is what I find so dreadful about the thousands of rural communities with little or no broadband. The people in those places do not have the same opportunities as the rest of us. It would be an inconvenience to not be able to watch streaming video, but it would be economically devastating if you couldn’t take a good-paying job because you don’t have broadband.
Gigabit networks are emerging as a transformative technology that provides rich connectivity and opens up a world of immersive experiences with blink-of-an-eye responsiveness, always-on reliability and more.
Communities are beginning to see economic opportunities increase, which accelerates job growth and offers a host of new public benefits. Local and national civic leaders are also calling for even faster broadband and access while municipalities, ISPs, citizens and Internet advocates demand action and funding for new gigabit infrastructure projects.
Brett and Rose Buer both grew up on farms, left for the city, then returned. Brett started his own business as a machinist and welder, and Rose works from home as a software engineer. She has a competitive advantage that even larger cities don’t offer. Despite their isolation and low population, residents in Lac qui Parle County are in a hotbed of fiber optics with Internet speed that are blazing fast. Top upload and download speeds are an incredible 300 megabytes per second. Plans are to be at 1 gigabyte within five years.
“If we don’t have true broadband, we will disappear,” says Lehmann. “The younger generation will not be tolerant of not having that.”
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE on page 38 of the February 2015 issue of The Furrow
The RS Fiber Cooperative fiber optic broadband initiative will receive a grant totaling $1 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Counties that have better broadband access tend to be adding population at a faster rate than counties that don’t have as much access. And the counties with the worst levels of access are losing population, a new study finds.
Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self Reliance, joins The Daily Circuit to discuss the future of high-speed internet. Danna Mackenzie, executive director of the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development, also joins the discussion to talk about the state’s effort.
“’The only way to predict the future, is to create it yourself.’ These trends, tools and technologies – everything is here today and they are real, but the future is only going to be created in the hands of those of you with the courage to take these new technologies and do what you’ve always done – to do it better, faster and more affordable.”
…one piece of the puzzle has been notably missing from discussions regarding rural broadband and future economic growth: the importance of fast, reliable internet access for growth in agricultural productivity. The rise of “precision agriculture” combined with increasing interest in the use of “telematics” and “big data” for agriculture, raises the question of how available broadband connectivity is for U.S. farms.
Is Now the Time to Invest in Fiber?
Doug Dawson, CCG Consulting
It’s been obvious for a decade that the ISP market is not going to get competitive until new entrants join the market and build fiber networks…
RS Fiber Cooperative is a new cooperative that will soon be bringing fiber to rural Sibley and Renville Counties in Minnesota. I can’t remember the last new telecom cooperative that was formed. The Cooperative model is an interesting one since the customers own the business.
RS Fiber Broadband Initiative Gains Momentum in Rural and Agro Minnesota
KEYC – Mankato News
A co-op out of Winthrop is gaining momentum in their initiative to provide fiber-optic broadband service in rural Minnesota.
The RS Fiber Board in collaboration with Hiawatha Broadband Communications in Winona will provide affordable fiber-optic broadband service in ten communities and 17 townships in Renville, Nicollet and Sibley County.