Thursday, July 15, 2010

Re: [MISP] Broadband op-ed in today's Albuquerque Journal

Meh.  It's all hypocritical blather when the telcos continue to behave in such a rabidly anti-consumer manner.   

A rhetorical question:  when does AT&T plan on implementing 3G coverage in Santa Fe?  

On Jul 15, 2010, at 2:35 PM, Eric Renz-Whitmore wrote:

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From the 1st Mile NM listserv:


Broadband Is Critical


By Terry Brunner

USDA Rural Development State Director for New Mexico


    It goes without saying that broadband-high speed Internet is changing the way Americans live their lives. It's almost hard to remember how many of us got by without it.


    With access to broadband, we can easily sell a car, rent an apartment, look for a job, read the news or manage a business. The advantage of the broadband network is that it can connect you to the rest of the world on your schedule, at your convenience and almost anywhere — that is unless you live in rural America.


    Today, too few rural Americans take advantage of the opportunities broadband provides. Only half of rural residents subscribe to broadband — compared to 65 percent nationwide — because too many communities in rural America don't have adequate access to broadband infrastructure.


    Simply put, building a broadband infrastructure is critical to creating jobs and economic opportunity in rural America.


    With investments in broadband we are fostering innovation and bringing America's rural communities into the digital age. A young person doesn't have to move to the nearest city to make a living. He or she can create, develop and run a business at home, in rural America, and be successful. A young parent can work and raise a family and still connect with business partners across the country or around the world.


    With new or enhanced broadband access, the door to economic growth is open.


    When broadband access reaches into rural communities:


    • Farmers and ranchers will have up-to-the-minute commodity and weather information to make the best decisions for their operations;


    • Schools can expand limited course offerings through distance learning — both advancing education and better preparing students to compete in the 21st century economy;


    • First responders will have information they need to keep their communities safer;


    • Rural health care will improve, as medical specialists will be able to use telemedicine to provide advanced diagnosis for patients or to consult with colleagues at other hospitals.


    At the Department of Agriculture, we are focused every day on creating thriving rural communities where people want to live and raise families. We want every parent and grandparent in rural America to be able to look their child or grandchild in the eye and tell them their hometown has the economic opportunities to offer them a bright future.


    The Obama administration recently announced investment in 66 new Recovery Act broadband projects nationwide, the second round of funding for broadband infrastructure from President Obama's Recovery Act. Thirty-seven of these new projects will help expand broadband access in rural America. These projects will not only directly create more than 5,000 jobs up front, but spur economic development in some of the nation's hardest-hit communities, creating jobs for years to come.


    These funds will put people to work constructing new facilities, erecting towers to transmit signals and high speed broadband services installed in homes, businesses and community education, safety and public health centers.


    But the investments also will foster long-term economic growth. The more than $7 billion provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help expand broadband will benefit tens of millions of Americans and over 685,000 businesses, 900 health care facilities and 2,400 schools in all 50 states.


    We will see the impact of broadband in rural New Mexico with several broadband projects being funded.


    For example, the Baca Valley Telephone Co. in Des Moines received a $1.6 million loan and $1.5 million grant. The funding will expand fiber optics to Digital Subscriber Line in rural northeastern New Mexico communities. The money will be used to replace outdated deteriorating copper wire and low bandwidth microwave transport systems in some areas, while providing new connectivity in others, and enabling advanced, high-speed DSL service throughout the area.

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Eric Renz-Whitmore
twitter: @ewhitmore
cell:     505-227-1086

Program Coordinator, ARTS Lab
twitter: @artslab_nm
office: 505-277-2253
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