Econo?mic development in rural Kan?sas points more and more to the importance of fast Inter?net. Sure, there are many other factors, such as good schools, access to retail and services and affordable and available housing.
Each of the areas mentioned above could warrant a long discussion, but the broadband access in rural areas is what I am focusing on now.
We have Eagle cable in town, Eagle fiber downtown, if you are made of gold, Century Link DSL all around and Pixius point-to-point, which is line of sight in town and rural. Another option, if you live in the country, is satellite. Verizon is a player with 4G cell phone service, which is very fast but very expensive if you are a big user.
I don?t have absolute proof, but I think so many customers ditched Century Link that it actually works pretty good right now?if all you want to do is download a few things and do email. We have this at home; as far as I can tell it has only been off once in five months. So, compared with other towns in the neighborhood, Hillsboro is just mediocre when it comes to Internet options.
The school district and Tabor College are much better served than the community at large. They both are taking advantage of the Technology Excellence in Education Network (TEEN), which is a fiber line that was run in 1992 in a vision of cooperation among the Herington, Centre, Marion, Peabody-Burns and Hillsboro school districts for the purpose of teaching two-way classes. It quickly became the highway for the Internet and other technologies. Eagle leases the fiber from TEEN and resells it to Tabor College and others in town.
We trade newspapers with Marysville. A story in it last week talked about a summit held at Blue Valley Communications, Home City, to discuss high-speed Internet in rural areas.
Several of the panelists stated that most businesses and farmers now use the Internet. They also stated there has been a gigantic explosion of technology in agriculture. They also talked about how many jobs can exist anywhere for young people, meaning they can live in their hometowns and raise their families if they have top notch broadband service.
I wrote about QR codes in last week?s column. So I am going to display two of them here so you can scan them on your smartphone and go to the following websites and read the Free Press or take a readership survey.
All it takes is an app that reads the codes. Search for a scanning app in your app store. Many apps are free.
Read the Free Press with the one on the left or take a readership study about the Free Press on the right:
If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@