The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 11, 2012

Is our internet adequate? Local group asks all residents to post on survey website

OTTUMWA — Maybe your Internet is fast enough to do everything you want. Maybe not. But before Ottumwa makes improvements, they want to know what you need.

“We’re asking everyone to go to [this page] and answer a few questions,” said David Barajas Jr., executive director of the Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation.

He’s been spearheading a movement to bring broadband Internet to Wapello County.

If you think of your home computer as an Olympic-sized pool, then the Internet connection is the hose used to fill it, said Megan Framke, OEDC initiative manager.

Users may be satisfied adding water with a garden hose because it meets their needs. Those who want a fire hose to fill the pool, however, need broadband.

The online survey, Barajas said, is “so we can get a handle on what people have — and what they need.”

Framke said a request to take the survey is going home with local students. The survey shouldn’t take long, she said.

“It’s only five questions.”

Maybe, she said, they’ll discover the public doesn’t know how they can benefit from faster Internet. Or maybe individuals are happy with what they have, but businesses need an improvement in order to grow.

Barajas has repeatedly said that to move forward as a community, and to be competitive as a place to invest, any town must meet some basic requirements. For example, it needs a way to move raw or finished material, like access to a highway, railroad or airport. It also needs a way to communicate quickly, which these days means a powerful Internet connection.

Years ago, Barajas believes, the “must-have” innovation was rail. Where the railroad went, commerce followed. Towns that had it thrived. Those that didn’t were left behind.

“In my opinion, the communities that don’t [seek out] broadband are going to continue to fall behind,” he said.

That’s because other communities are already installing broadband.  It’s a benefit, he said, to their growth in quality jobs, in tools for education and to access top-quality health care.

“We can’t be average [when it comes to this],” said Barajas. “We really can shine within Iowa — if we have vision and we’re willing to work hard.”

 The online survey will be up until Dec. 21.

On the Web, go to www.ottumwadevelopment.org/broadband-availability

 

Gaskill, Chelgren on radio show

Ottumwa legislators state Rep. Mary Gaskill and state Sen. Mark Chelgren will be featured on Craig Settles’ Gigabit Nation Internet Radio Show today. For more information, go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gigabitnation/2012/12/11/bipartisanship-and-broadband-in-state-legislatures.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • A change at Evans OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Agriculture Day color photo 2 -T -L -M Cardinal students celebrate Ag Day ELDON — Sometimes the best way to learn is to get out of the classroom and come face-to-face with things that you might not see every day. Students at Cardinal Elementary School got that chance Thursday during Ag Day. Every year, the Cardinal FFA and

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT Five Things logo -T -L -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — It's a weekend of Easter celebrations, historic events and educational opportunities in southeast Iowa. Many people are gathered together this weekend, and the surrounding communities have scheduled events perfect for the whole family. 1. S

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Joe Tafta bw photo -L -T -M Pursuing opportunities OTTUMWA — Joe Tafta follows the rules. The Simpson College junior hopes to be a U.S. marshal one day, so he’s careful about what he says and does. But not always. On the afternoon of April 1, Tafta says, he nearly got booted out of Dunn Library for m

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition