Once again I was delighted to see broadband mentioned in a well placed news source again today with the article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (The Net has a few holes in Minnesota). The reporter was kind enough to mention many of the successes the Blandin Foundation has had promoted and supported broadband in rural areas.
The article mentions a few sad homeowners who moved to their dream homes in rural areas only to find that the inherent nightmare was that their new homes were in broadband no man’s land. They only have access to dialup. To some of us, access to broadband is assumed. Except that I follow broadband in rural areas, I might look at a sign promoting broadband coverage in a community the same way I look at a sign promoting color TV in a hotel. Makes me wonder. But there still is a need to promote areas with broadband and deploy broadband in areas without it.
Also as the article points out – deploying and promoting broadband is not enough. People need to adopt it. The article includes a couple of examples: the online pharmacy in Adrian, remote patient monitoring in Staples and various projects in Benton County.
When deployment is coupled with adoption, broadband becomes an investment.