Sunday, November 23, 2008

Broadband as Public Infrastructure

Just having a highway like the 60 through town isn't enough. Now we also need the Information Super Highway.

SUPERIOR - There was a time when Mila Lira wasn't able to run her online business effectively out of this former mining town 60 miles east of Phoenix. Not on a dial-up connection.

"I use the Internet daily for e-mail and marketing," Lira said.

But today Lira is enjoying broadband Internet access as she provides virtual administrative help for offices around the country through Miracle Executive Services.


"Having high-speed in rural communities is like having a sewer system; it's needed for a healthy community," Lira said.

Since 2007, Superior residents have been able to pay $29.99 a month for unlimited high-speed Internet access through WI-VOD, a company that specializes in providing broadband in rural communities. There are about 100 customers here so far.


Allan Meiusi, CEO and chief architect with WI-VOD, said it's fundamentally important to get high-speed Internet into communities that lack it.

"By enhancing access to the Internet, rural communities can build an increasingly diverse economic foundation and, with it, higher-paying, service-oriented jobs that are not limited by geographic circumstance or characteristics," Meiusi said in an e-mail interview.

Apparently the World is Flat in rural Arizona.

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