EDP: The utility of our generation | CraigDailyPress.com

EDP: The utility of our generation

Audrey Danner, Executive Director, CMEDP/For the Daily Press

Audrey Danner

This I know for certain — high-speed Internet is the utility of our generation.

Access to high-quality telecommunication services is critical to economic development, business growth and attracting the best businesses. Moffat County residents are asking for broadband services and are willing to pay a fair price for these services for work or entertainment.

Ballot measures 1A and 2A are the first step in working with telecommunication providers to provide broadband services. This ballot measure allows local government to be part of the decision to secure broadband services and stay within the letter of the law.

Tuesday is Election Day, and we will know how we might begin planning with local government.

The local broadband team understands there is not one single path to next generation broadband. What matters is our local control of how infrastructure is created. Our local government must provide this dedicated leadership that understands the importance of collaboration to accomplish broadband services for our future.

We all require increased Internet speeds at home and work for data, video, education and day-to-day services. A look back at the past 20 years in Moffat County shows an astonishing amount of high-speed telecom capacity being consumed for public safety, health care and education at all levels and business services.

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Business owners rely on high-speed Internet daily. Consider when the recent telephone line cuts affected business operations this summer. Even our credit card processing for payments does not work in this circumstance. Our actions today to create this "fourth utility" in Moffat County that will provide the opportunity for business to diversify and stay competitive.

Craig/Moffat Economic Development is assisting with a Moffat County Broadband Plan that will show us what telecom infrastructure we have, where we have gaps and what all of this infrastructure will cost. The community will be asked to assist and provide actual speed testing of the services, as this is often different from advertised speeds. The infrastructure map along with needs of business and industry will allow telecom service providers to determine where they can develop broadband services at a reasonable price. A detailed plan for infrastructure and services that can be developed and grow with our community needs will allow our business and local government to respond to grant funding opportunities. Public and private partnerships are the future of some public infrastructure needs.

Many citizens ask why Craig/Moffat Economic Development is interested in broadband planning. The answer is simple. We can grow our economy with primary jobs. Primary jobs bring in "new" money for a product or service for customers that are mostly outside the community. Business and industry need broadband services.

Our business and industry growth supports our economic stability. We must develop our broadband plan for the future to help support our economic future.

Join me and CMEDP with a vote YES on 1A and 2A.

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