An editorial in yesterday’s Lake County News-Chronicle champions Minnesota as a possible national leader in rural broadband. Here’s an excerpt from the editorial, but it’s definitely worth reading the whole thing!
Minnesota is no stranger to demanding that rural areas have the technological advantages of metropolitan areas. In the 1920s, the state led the way in proving that bringing electricity to farms was viable. Electric companies then feared they would never recoup the costs to build a rural grid. There were soon electric co-operatives across the state.
The example set in the state proved a model for President Roosevelt’s Rural Electric Administration in 1935 that brought the technology across the nation.
While it’s nice to see that state gumption again from the broadband task force, too many times we’ve seen businesses leave out our rural areas when it comes to today’s technology. Dead zones remain when it comes to cell phone coverage. Only now are there plans for towers in Finland and Isabella in Lake County.
The slow pace of providing what is now a basic service can’t happen when it comes to internet service. With Lake County’s work on broadband, we can stay ahead of the curve and perhaps prove to internet companies that rural areas are a market.