Editorial: Internet speed is a critical factor
Most of West central Minnesota has fallen behind an important and critical utility in this digital age -- broadband access to the Internet. For example, there are parts of the region that cannot even subscribe to DSL broadband in their homes, whi...
Most of West central Minnesota has fallen behind an important and critical utility in this digital age - broadband access to the Internet.
For example, there are parts of the region that cannot even subscribe to DSL broadband in their homes, which is the slowest of broadband Internet range.
This is an economic, business, education and entertainment handicap to the entire region.
Other parts of the state, especially metro and larger cities, like Willmar, have adequate broadband and even multiple providers in many places. However, many of these areas do not have the next-generation of super-high-speed Internet.
A five-county area in northern Minnesota has the foresight and wisdom to invest in its future, with development of a super-high-speed Internet network.
The rural telephone cooperative, Paul Bunyan Communications of Bemidji, has laid the groundwork over the past decade for a $150-million, 1-gigabit fiber optic network, according to a Star Tribune report.
This new network, called the Gigazone, will provide super-high-speed Internet to homes and businesses in this region that is 100 times faster than broadband access.
That is a big difference.
Economic development staffs across this northern Minnesota region are trumpeting the importance this super-high speed access to potential residents and businesses.
This super-high speed access is critically important to the current businesses in the region. The super-fast Internet provides new capabilities, which in some cases is a must-have, from telecommuting to customer and business communication to machine communication.
This is a game changer for this northern Minnesota region. Congratulations.
It is time for everyone across west central Minnesota to focus on this super-high-speed Internet need and help develop such networks across our entire region.