Reliable and affordable internet (wireless or broadband), also known as e-Connectivity plays a fundamental role in our economic activity. More importantly, access to high-speed internet is vital for attracting and retaining businesses. It also helps support a larger population of workers choosing to telecommute from home and serves as a catalyst in fostering entrepreneurship and small business growth in rural parts of the County.
Internet connectivity acts as a catalyst for rural prosperity by enabling efficient, modern communications between rural households, county services, schools, and health care facilities. The benefits are far reaching, which have been recognized not only at a national level, but also at the state. It is a state goal that no later than 2022, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to high-speed broadband that provides minimum download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second and minimum upload speeds of at least three megabits per second; and no later than 2026, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to at least one provider of broadband with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 20 megabits per second.
“The Vision for the Broadband Feasibility Study states “All Stearns County residents will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.”
A summary of the study’s recommendations include: