It is hard for Cortez to attract businesses and industry. The area is not served by an Interstate, nor do we have a railroad or a large university. Some would argue that is one of the reasons they live here. Although we have a wonderful place to live and work, economic development has been difficult, with the high transportation cost associated with the area.
We do have an attractive labor force, and our quality of life is excellent. How can we best leverage these things? The broadband project could provide clean industry for the area, help existing businesses expand, and is attractive for the telecommuter that works from home. We have gotten to a point now where Internet service is like your water or your sewer service, or even your electricity. People are building their lives and their livelihoods around it and they expect it to work and work easily.
The open access network that is being implemented locally can allow new service providers to offer services on the network, along with helping local service providers to expand their business. Clean industries are another opportunity.
Broadband has been compared to the railroads in the 1800's. The towns by-passed by the railroad did not flourish as well as those communities that were connected to the railroad. Fiber optics is the new railroad.
The bottom line is that getting broadband to citizens and businesses is becoming a necessity for a community's economic survival in the global economy.
The future of too many American communities is being held hostage by the fact that they do not meet the rate-of-return requirements for investments in next-generation networks by private service providers.