Our View: Vote ‘yes’ on broadband improvements | CraigDailyPress.com

Our View: Vote ‘yes’ on broadband improvements

Editorial Board

Renee Campbell: Newspaper representative

Noelle Leavitt Riley: Newspaper representative

Sheli Steele: Newspaper representative

Christina Oxley: Community representative

Brenda Elsbree: Community representative (absent)

It’s time for our community to get up to speed with broadband. In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to function without fast Internet service, and voters have an opportunity to improve Moffat County and Craig’s broadband options by voting yes to referred measures 1A and 2A.

Specifically, the measures override legislation that was implemented by Senate Bill 05-152, limiting the amount of local control communities have over broadband options and services. The measures allow Craig and Moffat County to “improve high bandwidth services and broadband facilities based on future technologies… with public or private sector partners.”

Our current broadband restrictions go beyond household wireless issues. They also affect all businesses, the hospital, city and county buildings and home-based businesses. Hotels are also hurt by current limitations set forth by SB-152.

For example, our local hotels are not meeting their brand standards with their corporate entities because of bandwith service restrictions. If the measures are passed, it will help our lodging industry and allow other entities to stay relevant in the 21st Century.

Not only that, but it will open up opportunities for more Internet providers to start business in Craig, which ultimately lowers rates. It’s nearly impossible to get Internet service in Moffat County for less than $50 a month, which is one reason passing these measures is vital.

Surrounding communities — Rio Blanco, Baggs and Hayden — have voted to override SB 152, giving them a leg up on Craig and Moffat County. Those communities are ahead of ours, which does not bode well for us, especially from an economic development standpoint.

Aside from helping businesses, better broadband services will improve apps on our smartphones, allowing farmers and agriculture-based families to better sell their crops by snapping pictures of their fields and uploading them to apps.

According to Innovation Media Consulting, users check their mobile devices 221 times a day. With that in mind, why wouldn’t we want faster mobile Internet access?

We need that connectivity — that ability to interconnect globally. When we can’t keep up with the way the rest of the world is doing business than we can’t do business. Broadband is turning into our fourth utility.

These measures are also about local control, giving us the opportunity to do what we want with our broadband services and not being hamstrung by lawmakers on the Front Range.

Therefore, vote “yes” to referred measures 1A and 2A.

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