Getting High Speed Broadband to Rural America

It’s easy for folks living in urban and suburban areas to take their high-speed internet access for granted, but for the millions of Americans living in small towns and rural communities, the snail’s pace of dial-up access is the only option. While they wait for files to download and miss out on key features of the internet age, economic growth slows and all of us suffer.

That’s where Daniel Bosley comes in. Bosley recently became the special adviser for economic development to incoming Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and he understands the importance of getting high speed internet to all the nooks and crannies of rural America. Last year Bosley ushered an economic stimulus package through the state Legislature that created a broadband director charged with expanding high speed access statewide, signaling an understanding that this issue is about more than just convenience.

And Bosley’s not the only one:

Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, who will be sworn in to the state Senate tomorrow, championed improved broadband service on the campaign trail. He called it an essential tool for economic development and vital to the creative economy that has become the Berkshires’ financial core.

“From Pittsfield to Plainfield, from North Adams to Sandisfield, people have issues with the speed of their connection,” Downing said in a recent interview. “It keeps us from moving our economic development forward, and it doesn’t allow us to bring in jobs and employers.”

Both of these officials realize it’s an expensive project, and that it’ll require a good deal of cooperation between the public and private sectors. But it’s important enough that they’re willing to do the grunt work to make this happen. And so should all of us.

 Speedy Web Vital in Massachusetts Small Towns (from the Berkshire Eagle, via freepress.net)