Broadband is not an expense, it’s an investment. The story below exemplifies that from start to finish. I want to add for folks in urban areas that rural businesses understand that it’s an investment for them the problem can be getting the bandwidth they need and paying going rates. That’s why the community (maybe provider, maybe local government, maybe EDA or Chamber of Commerce) gets involved because to keep thriving businesses in Minnesota, they have to have access to the resources they need and that means broadband.
From the Northwest Minnesota Foundation Blog…
Since 2012, I have owned and operated a small business in Greater Minnesota called Weave Got Maille. As a supplier of jewelry making components, we started small — traditionally what you would think of as a “mom and pop” shop. When the business opened, I had planned on being part-time and having the store as a hobby.
But then, broadband service revolutionized the way we did business. We went from hoping for $40,000 in sales to having $1 million within reach by the end of 2015, and from one part-time employee to 12 full-time employees with the intention of hiring eight more. We do business in 56 countries and are planning to build a new $500,000 facility to accommodate our growth. …
Over the years, we’ve had to painfully decline business partnerships because of Ada’s broadband limitations. I was on an island in the digital world, which limited my company’s ability to keep growing.
Last year, my husband and I were heavily courted by North Dakota to relocate our business to where high-speed broadband service was guaranteed. We wanted to stay in our town, but also knew that without high-speed internet service, our company would not survive.
Not long after, our community received the attention of a local phone company recognized the need to move forward installing fiber so that our businesses and residents can prosper here.
If we had not received the commitment for higher broadband speed, we would not have achieved our dream goals.