This post has become stale. I’ve been picking at it for so long that finally it just turned blue and hairy. It just never morphed into the dynamic sexy piece I was aiming for. However, after attending a very heated government meeting that covered several topics, one of which was infrastructure for businesses, I felt like it was still very relevant.
There were several good points that came up during the meeting, some of which I agreed with and some of which I didn’t. One that struck me was an argument that more funds should be diverted away from county services (payroll) and instead directed toward infrastructure that will attract businesses…which I agree with on the surface. Newton County is rural, and residents, unless they want their taxes to skyrocket, should not expect the same level of service that they would receive in an area with a higher population and higher tax rate. But the argument can also be made that these services are infrastructure. Would a business want to be located in an area with poorly plowed roads or a barely visible law enforcement presence? I’m not sure.
Are there areas that should be trimmed, yes of course, it is government. The discussion mainly became heated about the method of searching for where to cut, which I won’t get into, but I’m sure you can read more about it in the local paper The Newton County Enterprise
So, back to this post—about infrastructure—which is not incredibly sexy but as my brother Thad told me, still really important. Plus I also had Thad make a specific trip to take a photo for me, albeit not a very good photo, I had to publish it, or I think he would kill me.
The importance of fiber
Fiber is substance, it not only fills you it fuels you, it makes everything work better. It’s an essential nutrient that lots of people talk about few take advantage of. But what I’m referring to isn’t dietary fiber, its fiber optic internet.
It makes everything work better
The lightning fast speeds allow you to watch three adorable internet cat videos at the same time and download that full length HD movie in seconds. It also means those critical medical files such as CT scans, lab reports and other information can more easily be collected, transferred and sent to your doctor. Fiber internet is also vital as businesses grow and rely more and more on the data transferred over the internet…as this photo shows.
It’s an essential nutrient
My family owns a convenience store that has dominated our lives for over 30 years. When I was behind the cash register, there was a lot of information flowing through my brain that resulted in the keys punched on the register and a sale made. There was no credit card at the pump and I was more likely to receive a grimy $5 bill than a swipe of credit card. But now everything is done electronically from the cards swiped at the pump, to the taxes paid, to the cash register that allows us to monitor sales from anywhere. But moving that much information through our current internet connection is cumbersome. We need fiber to keep things moving quickly, we need this essential nutrient in order to better absorb the data running through the store every day.
Here is a photo of a cute baby to make up for my brother’s horrible photography skills.
A lot of people talk about fiber
I can tell you all about how awesome and important fiber internet is but it’s nothing that hasn’t been said before by people more knowledgeable than myself. The following excerpt is from a piece featured in Inside Indiana Business by Cullen McCarty, the president of Smithville Digital, a telecommunications provider located near Bloomington. The full article can be found here.
“In a post-Great Recession business climate that includes a growing role for Big Government (whether anyone wants it or not), Indiana needs compelling and personal incentives to reverse these future-sapping trends. If Indiana can create new opportunities that represent exciting and fulfilling challenges that have high payoffs, we’ll likely see more young people stay and grow their home state.
Added to this attraction mix is the fact that young people, particularly young single people and couples who do not yet have children, living in a region that has a distinctive “sense of place” and viable entertainment opportunities is important. Increasing numbers of young people express a preference for “green,” environmentally friendly areas that may be close, but not too close, to large urban areas. Young professionals today also increasingly telecommute or maintain home offices to work.
How does Indiana fulfill these preferences and attract and keep young people here?
Perhaps surprisingly, and as several research studies confirm, high-speed and high-capacity fiber-based broadband can and does play a direct role in achieving these critical goals. ‘Broadband” has become an almost meaningless term, as the federal government defines it in several different ways. On the other hand, one gigabit connectivity is a phrase that packs a punch. One gigabit connectivity means one’s home office can handle almost any kind of data modeling or intensive bandwidth-hungry applications. It means that young professionals and young couples have the increased capacity to create a high-tech “sense of place,” even though they may choose to live in a semi-rural area.
The presence of high-speed fiber in a region is a game-changer. Without it, rapidly growing business centers like the WestGate@Crane Technology Park, a 600-acre high-tech region that will soon likely be a hub of energy research and development in a rural area, could not exist. Couple that with the opening of I-69 through a long-underserved rural region with big data pipes driving deep into the area, and you have some catalysts cooking off that can create real change.”
Few Take Advantage of it…
The presence of fiber internet is slowly expanding across the country and rural America, but it will be those communities that are at the forefront of this technology that will gain the most. Not only will they be ahead of their rural peers and have a competitive edge for business development, these communities will also demonstrate their forward thinking and strategic planning. My guess is an expanding business, a company on the move, or a resident looking to relocate might value forward thinking and strategic planning in their new community.