New York has passed legislation to try to spur further rural broadband development, as reported Friday in the Utica Observer-Dispatch. Can passing a law really make a difference on broadband investment?
The law directs one agency, the Department of Economic Development, to work with other departments, agencies and private companies. Their assignment is to create financial and other incentives to get companies to expand their investment in broadband service to underserved rural areas of the state. Ed Morrison reported this at his EDPro Weblog under the Incentives Watch.
My experience is that state agencies don’t work well together, especially when legislated to do so. Still, I applaud Governor Pataki for signing the bill and State Senator David Valesky of Oneida for co-sponsoring it. Just yesterday, Laura Allen was telling me about the Oneida area, and how it has been hit hard with manufacturing job losses and global competition. That may be why Valesky is particularly aware. He seems to understand that broadband factors into rural jobs, global competitiveness, and economic development:
“High speed Internet access is more than a matter of convenience, it is an economic necessity.”
“Broadband access is an important tool in rural economic development and job retention.”
“Our local businesses need broadband access to compete in the global marketplace.”
Related story: Why Rural Small Businesses Will Still Dial Up for a Long Time to Come
small biz rural entrepreneurship economic development broadband gap digital divide
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