Broadband Matters: Residential
High speed broadband access is an essential component to Iowa as a global leader in business, education, and quality of life. The Iowa Communications Network, through its Broadband Matters campaign, is working to support private telecom initiatives to improve broadband access to every household and business in the state of Iowa. Broadband access is a necessity in just about every person’s daily routine and we encourage you to learn more about each area of ICN’s focus. As a highlight, the following examples describe the everyday impact of broadband in specific areas of interest.
Broadband matters to rural Iowans when they visit their local community college center/campus which offers access in conducting electronic job searches and for basic education training. With broadband, Iowa employees can benefit from participating in online training offered at local community colleges or universities benefiting them in the pursuit of a two or four year degree, or simply refreshing their existing skill set. Iowans can also receive continuing education training in areas such as increased workplace skills, personal computer training, and manufactured skills.
Broadband matters to patients as it provides top level treatment options without leaving the comfort of their own community, thereby saving patients and family members the burden of extra travel costs incurred when a family member needs specialized care.
Broadband matters to public safety as it gives all residents the ability to become first reporters. Through the use of high-speed broadband via NG911 (Next Generation 911), an enhanced 911 system, the public will be enabled to alert emergency personnel to situations by sharing text and photos to emergency dispatch. This in turn gives first responders a better understanding of an emergency situation prior to arrival.
Broadband matters to Iowans by giving citizens the ability to view live feeds using the Iowa Department of Transportation’s traffic cameras and weather alert system. Broadband access also provides real time government activities such as: benefits programs, facilitating travel and commerce, regulatory oversight, issuance of hunting licenses, and citizen tax services. Lastly, Iowa families can watch Iowa Public Television’s live HD TV programming, because the signals are transported to multiple towers throughout the State using broadband, and more specifically, using ICN’s fiber optic backbone.
At the Iowa Communications Network, we support the concept that the private sector is best positioned to support residential broadband Internet service. ICN Executive Director Ric Lumbard is committed to promoting public / private partnerships in support of this concept. Lumbard says, “The ICN is actually moving forward in some innovative ways. We are looking at innovative ways in which we can help schools and hospitals have access to the service they require. We want to help champion that process so these sectors in the state have the broadband they need when they need it.”