Leading from the Left

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An Economic Reality, Thinking Anew

Brian Russell has a good piece in the Carrboro Citizen about economic development and access to highspeed internet. Brian couches his point in a Carrboro context, but his argument applies as much to the broader community as it does to a thriving downtown.

As we know businesses today operate in a new world in which technology plays the key role. If your business doesn't keep up, you'll fall behind competitors. And the communities that invest in technology will be the communities that thrive in the future; those that don't, won't. Brian argues--and I whole-heartedly agree--that forward thinking governments should treat high-speed internet access like any other infrastructure.

Like sidewalks, roads, water and sewer, high speed internet access is imperative to create the kind of economic development that Orange County wants and needs. Our rural areas are particularly at a disadvantage as highspeed access is severely limited. To his credit, President-elect Obama is insisting that highspeed infrastructure be funded in the economic reinvestment plans currently being created in Congress. Bringing highspeed infrastructure to our urban, suburban and rural areas is key to future economic health. Orange County and our municipalities need to be doing everything in our power to ensure this infrastructure is in place.

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