Broadband is a necessity

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

In 2019, many students, families and businesses are dependent upon high speed internet access to carry out everyday duties.

The internet is an integral part of our lives and modern advancements have allowed us to largely say goodbye to the old days of dial up and hello to advanced capabilities such as wireless internet services.

However, many households and businesses in small rural communities still struggle with the ability to receive broadband internet access.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “the term broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access. Broadband included several high-speed transmission technologies …”

The FCC said these technologies include wireless, satellite, fiber, cable modem, digital subscriber line (DSL) and broadband over powerline (BPL).

In addition, the FCC said the type of technology chosen will depend on a few factors, including whether an individual is located in an urban or rural area.

Expanding broadband outreach in Charlotte County continued to be a discussion at the November meeting of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors.

During that time, it was revealed areas in the county still struggled with the inability to receive broadband or limited access.

In addition, affordability was a concern.

As a rural community, Charlotte County deserves to be able to provide its citizens and students of the Charlotte County Public Schools system with up to date services to enhance the community and expand potential opportunities.

“I think that among this Board we all have a commitment to do something because it’s not going to pay for itself and when you don’t have it, it hurts our school children it hurts our businesses, it hurts the property values of your land, it hurts all of those things …” said Red House/Cullen Supervisor Nancy Carwile at the November meeting.

At that time, she said the initiative is not trying to put existing companies out of business.

“It is a change in direction and a change in philosophy and I’m encouraged by it,” she said.

Carwile said she hopes the Broadband Authority would have more information by January.

We applaud the Broadband authority for taking a step in the right direction to help provide affordable broadband access for rural Charlotte County in the future.