Fiber broadband in Brookings expands opportunities for businesses and residents
By Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog
The presence of technology has filtered into most everything we do. Whether it’s ordering a Fred Meyer’s grocery pickup or filling out social security forms online, the use of the internet has managed to break into most areas of our lives.
Access to the web has become a necessity in modern life for communication, service and work, but it has also increased the gap between major metropolitan areas and places like our hometown of Brookings.
The city recognizes the critical importance of reliable access to quality fiber internet service and the opportunities it will provide to address the shifting needs of local businesses, advance youth education and enhance the quality of life for all of us who call Brookings home.
Quality high-speed internet will attract new businesses to the area. It is a critical factor in site selection decisions for companies looking to relocate or expand. We cannot overstate the importance of fiber-optic connectivity in driving economic growth and vitality.
Reliable high-speed internet is now imperative for local businesses of all sizes to compete and thrive. The new future of connectivity will provide our small businesses with the opportunities to use tools such as e-recruiting to access a larger pool of candidates and digital workforce tools that increase productivity gains. This can result in businesses being able to offer employees higher wages.
From a high scale perspective, broadband adoption will lead to economic growth, higher incomes and lower unemployment locally.
Besides the immediate economic benefits, access to reliable highspeed internet service has significant multigenerational impacts. Children and adults alike have greater access to educational resources, online courses and distance learning opportunities.
This is especially important in our local community where resources are limited.
Fiber can also improve health care access in our community. Telehealth services—which allow patients to receive medical care remotely—have become increasingly popular in recent years.
However, these services require a fast and reliable internet connection to function properly. By investing in fiber, we can improve health care access for our residents, especially those in rural areas who may not have easy access to medical facilities.
Finally, fiber can also improve our quality of life. With faster internet speeds, we can enjoy online entertainment, such as streaming movies and music, without interruption or buffering. Additionally, fiber can improve communication with family and friends, especially those who live far away. This can be especially important for older residents who may not be able to travel as easily as they once could.
The development of new broadband infrastructure is an enormous victory for Brookings. We must support the investment in this technology and the companies working toward closing the digital divide. Not only will high-speed fiber drive growth and innovation in our region, it will also have multigenerational impacts beyond measure.