Editorial: Broadband Matters

Editorial comment looks at the process and the issue of up-to-date digital service

For quite some time forward-thinking people and groups have been keen on getting us up to speed with the best digital capability available. Although in past years there may have been a certain percentage of Columbia Basin residents who balked at the need for broadband Internet service, for example, it’s not hard to imagine that percentage taking a big plunge more recently.

A member of the Columbia Basin Broadband Committee reached out to the Castlegar News last week with a proposal – to craft a series of four submissions to the newspaper, outlining some history behind its efforts, progress made to date, and work yet to be accomplished.

The crucial nature of up-to-date connectivity has only grown as time has elapsed, and it’s no overstatement to suggest that a modern digital endowment (or lack thereof) can make or break a community. With that in mind the committee invites us to take a look at Olds, Alberta, a community that has taken steps to acquire a massive broadband boost through its community-owned Internet service provider. This can only mean good things, economically and otherwise. It’s better for every reason a person values the web, and particularly for the person who chooses to work from home. What a way for smaller communities to stem the population drain where traditional sources of employment are in decline. It’s nothing short of a blueprint for cities and towns to use in reinventing themselves.

Tele-medicine is another development which could be faster in arriving thanks to the technology available. Look for in-depth information as the submissions are published in the coming weeks.