• 37°

Editorial: No longer an amenity

At an undetermined point in the future, when they leave the Rowan County Administration Building for the last time, incumbent commissioners will reflect on any number of important votes and accomplishments, but one of their most important actions to date has been work to bring better internet access to rural Rowan County.

County commissioners along with staff have worked with Open Broadband to bring better internet access to areas where folks face challenges with getting good internet access on computers as well as cellphone service. One of Open Broadband’s first acts has been to add a fixed wireless hub to the top of a tower at the Stanly County Airport that will broadcast to folks in southeastern Rowan.

To date, as southeast Rowan resident W. Lee Simmons told reporter Ben Stansell, parents often need to drive elsewhere to find a spot with Wi-Fi their kids can use to complete school assignments.

Sure, there’s satellite internet, but people want something more reliable, Simmons said.

The type of service provided by Open Broadband is different than most internet providers. It transmits the service via radio signals to a customer’s home rather than requiring miles and miles of cable in the ground, making it a more cost-effective option. The internet expansion is made possible by CARES Act funding received by county government, which must be spent by the end of the year, and will also include a project in the northwestern area of Rowan County — the Scotch Irish township.

Work from the Rowan County Broadband Task Force shows there are still areas of need for faster internet access.

If another node installed to serve the northwestern area of Rowan does not help areas still in need, commissioners should continue looking for ways to incentivize companies to improve access elsewhere.

Naturally, living in “the country” means doing without some amenities, but internet access has increasingly become a necessity, particularly for families with public school children.

People in  elected positions will differ about the best methods to ensure fast internet is accessible for everyone, but there’s shouldn’t be a debate that access to reliable fast internet should be as prevalent as electricity.

The internet is a utility, not an amenity.

Comments

Local

Human Relations Council honors Martin Luther King Jr. with modified fair

Local

Local lawmakers talk priorities for 2020-21 legislative session

Business

From a home office to a global company, Integro Technologies celebrates 20th anniversary

Lifestyle

‘Quarantine Diaries’ — Jeanie Moore publishes book as ‘foundation of stories for my family’

Business

‘It pays for itself:’ Study shows economic impact of Mid-Carolina Regional Airport

News

Gov. Cooper sending another 100 National Guard members to Washington

Local

Rowan County set rainfall record in 2020

News

Former, current congressmen for Rowan County opposed second impeachment

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber prepares for January Power in Partnership program

Education

Essie Mae holding COVID-19 testing Monday, recognizes honor Roll

Local

County will have hearing on new ordinance about feeding large animal carcasses to domestic animals

Business

Complaints to BBB up 36% in 2020

Nation/World

Some in GOP talk of chance for coming civil war

Nation/World

More National Guard troops pour into Washington

Kannapolis

Kannapolis native Corey Seager agrees to $13.75 million deal with Dodgers

Nation/World

NRA declares bankruptcy, plans to incorporate in Texas

Local

Pedestrian safety among concerns in latest public input for Downtown Main Street plan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis resident Dorothy Schmidt Cole was oldest Marine when she died at 107

Coronavirus

UPDATED: County reports 27 COVID-19 deaths this week

Crime

Search warrant produces half-dozen drug charges for Salisbury man

Crime

Crime blotter: Jan. 15

Nation/World

National Guard troops move in as Washington locks down

Nation/World

Biden unveils $1.9 trillion plan to stem virus and steady economy

Business

Paycheck Protection Program opens for community banks, larger lenders next week