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Linking to future

April 27, 2012
The Journal

Americans are kind of funny in some ways. People like living in wide, open spaces, but they like being connected to the services everyone else has. Years ago, project like the Rural Electrification Administration, which strung electrical service out into sparsely populated rural areas, helped transform this country.

Today, broadband service is the 21st century equivalent of electric and telephone lines. Fiber optic cable networks need to be extended to deliver the data to rural customers.

Sibley and Renville counties are working on a plan to develop a publicly owned, privately managed fiber optic system that will bring broadband service to the residents of their communities and rural areas. Sibley County commissioners approved a resolution supporting the project this week.

It is an expensive project, with communities in the county selling about $70 million in bonds to finance the project, but the investment to bring modern communication capacity to the area is well worth it.

It will make the counties and their communities more attractive to business, it will give rural residents better communications and technology, and make the communities more attractive places to live.

Kudos to Sibley and Renville Counties for taking the initiative to link to the future.



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