Broadband a must for growth within RBC

RBC I Rio Blanco County voters will be asked to cast a vote on a ballot question 1A in the November election. Adoption by voters is pivotal to the success of future RBC broadband implementation and subsequent economic development.

The following ballot question and title shall be submitted to the electors at the Nov. 4 general election:
“Without increasing taxes, shall the citizens of the Rio Blanco County, Colo., authorize the Board of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco County, Colo., to provide to potential subscribers including telecommunications service providers, residential, and commercial users within Rio Blanco County, all services restricted since 2005 by Title 29, article 27 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, including “telecommunications services,” “cable television services,” and “advanced services,” which is defined as high speed internet access capability in excess of 256 kilo bits per second both upstream and downstream (known as “broadband”), including any new and improved bandwidth services based on future technologies, utilizing the existing community owned fiber optic network and/or developing additional infrastructure, either directly or indirectly with public or private sector partners.”
New opportunities offered by high speed digital data telecommunications systems are often limited or unavailable in sparsely populated rural areas, yet are widely available in urban areas.
The following is an excerpt from the publication “Local Technology Planning Teams: Lessons Learned” (published by the Colorado Office of Information Technology, © Sept. 15, 2011, pages 21-23).
What drives the demand for broadband?
Businesses expect to have 24x7x365 access to basic applications like banking, VoIP phone services (Voice over Internet Protocol), credit card and payroll processing.
Redundancy in the network is critical for businesses to avoid down times if any one part of the physical network components fails. Sophisticated system design can compensate for localized failures and maintain operations.
Specialized business software needs large “pipes” (fiber optic cable or rf signaling] to move video and data easily and access to collaborative software development, including: Real estate offices providing virtual tours, construction firms sharing schematics, health care facilities and providers providing remote monitoring and diagnosis consultation, emergency management and public safety responders sharing data and information and intelligent power grids.
Growth in general Web-surfing, blogging, social networking and consumers, online shopping, where web sites that are providing the content are growing in size and complexity.
Continued high-growth in consumer use of services such as video calls (e.g., Skype), on-demand movies (e.g., Netflix), downloadable books (e.g., Amazon or Barnes and Noble), music (e.g., iTunes) and multi-player online games (e.g., World of Warcraft).
New consumer products (including cell phones) which take HD video and high resolution stills, whose output will be posted online, to YouTube, Facebook or sent to friends and family via email.
Increased access to government services from e-filing taxes, searching land information databases to emergency management.
Demands to increase in the near future:
Mobile products are signaling the end of the PC (personal computer laptop or desktop)as we know it.
Mobile devices are just that: mobile. Consumers expect them to be lightweight, portable and able to go online anywhere along with the ability to access personal information. At home, in coffee shops or at a friend’s house showing the kids videos, folks want untethered access.
The same untethered requirements are true of business people.
The “Cloud” is coming:
Google has created its Chrome OS, which supplies a super-fast browser, with the assumption that Web-based apps and services will provide all functions one needs. No more running applications on your personal laptop, but “in the cloud.”
Apple has announced iCloud as a way to sync and share all personal files on your various Apple hardware (such as iPad movies and books, iPhone messages, iPod music and MacBook files).
The market for iPads, tablets and other mobile devices will continue to grow and, with it, bandwidth demand for downloading books, Netflix movies and the like will continue to grow. In addition, these mobile devices are not designed to store huge amounts of data, such as videos, so consumers will need to park their collection of personal “stuff” elsewhere.
As more and more individual PCs get hacked, consumers and businesses will embrace the idea to put their data and software packages somewhere else in return for devices that work without the constant fear of losing data to hackers or hard drive crashes and won’t need the level of systems administration as current PCs.
More online and distance-learning opportunities for education, where students in a class are running simultaneous multimedia content with embedded assessments or taking specialty classes, such as foreign languages, not taught locally.
As education gets more expensive, schools and students will contract with larger institutions to provide curriculum not available locally. Completing higher education courses while in high school may save students more than $50,000 in reduced tuition, associated “seat time” and living costs for future higher education degree programs, helping to forestall long-term student loan indebtedness issues.
Interactive live video teleconferencing between remote educational institutions such as universities and local schools and students will become commonplace, all requiring very-high-capacity digital network access.
And it will lead to bigger, better products, such as 3-D TVs, 100-inch TV screens and 3-D gaming with increasing bandwidth needs.”