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Donnerstag, 23.11.2017
eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

Broadband initiative crucial for growth

The need for high-speed internet service is being tackled on regional, state and federal fronts as officials recognize how crucial broadband service is for both individuals and businesses. That is especially true in rural areas where the service can be limited or non-existent.

Almost any product can be marketed globally now, and businesses routinely use broadband to reach an audience that goes far beyond state lines.

Families use the service for routine things as well as taking care of necessities, like paying local taxes and purchasing new auto tags online rather than making a trip to a town hall, courthouse or the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Health care is also involved as more and more people are using telemedicine services through their insurance programs to diagnose and treat problems without a visit to a medical clinic or hospital. Education is also a key factor as classes can be taken online for degree programs, and students use it to communicate with teachers regarding assignments as well as a resource for school work.

Rural areas, especially in mountainous regions, have been behind on acquiring the service as carriers don’t want to invest in providing a service that may not include enough customers to make a profit.

That’s why government entities have increased their involvement in bringing the service to those areas.

A move is now under way in West Virginia to pinpoint areas that need help. Called the Broadband Enhancement Council, a survey is being conducted to determine broadband access and speed. That information will be used in conjunction with other initiatives to map out trouble areas and find ways to bring up-to-date services.

Residents can help by visiting the website, broadband.wv.gov, and click on the red icon that reads, “Take the speed test.”

Region One Planning and Development Council is also embarking on a project to help bring the service to counties in southern West Virginia.

Del. John Shott spearheaded legislation that was passed this year to add another tool by authorizing the creation of cooperatives of customers in rural areas to band together and obtain service at a more reasonable cost.

The bottom line is, the uses of broadband continue to grow and, as they do, we are long past the days when the service was a luxury or just a curiosity.

Effective broadband service has become a necessity.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Charlie Boothe

Quelle/Source: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 05.11.2017

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