Good riddance, dialup!

Many residents have phoned to tell me how overjoyed they will be when “white space” broadband technology finally rolls into town. These callers and many other people in town now have only dial-up connections to the Internet, and accomplishing just about anything on their computers with such a slow speed makes the “information superhighway” a rutted gravel road — a nearly impossible challenge to accomplish anything.

But we can be proud that our town of Thurman is considered a leader nationally in employing this new technology — using the space between channels on the old analog television transmission — to broadcast Internet broadband throughout our rural town. Thanks go to our town board for working to establish white space transmission, then lobbying for $200,000 in funding — and more money may be coming our way — to connect hundreds of households that are beyond the reach of the commercial Internet service providers.

Broadband to boost jobs, education

This prompted me to think about what this technology will mean to our children who are in school and facing this new “common core” teaching, that most of us parents and grandparents have never even heard of? With the Internet at their fingertips one would be able to access tutorials guiding parents and other caregivers on how to help their students succeed. And the college students, now able to conduct their studies from home, instead of traveling down to their respecvtive campuses to do their research.

Work-at-home jobs will increase, as well, possibly boosting the average wage that residents earn in our small community. Perhaps keeping families here in Thurman, instead of having to move out of town or worse, depending on the state to support them in any field other than cashier or waitress.

And for those who have moved away — with this new technology, family members will be able to reach out to one another and have face-to-face conversations using such applications as Skype. The only drawback to this, that I can see, will be trying to keep our youth from staying online all night long!

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