The Ottumwa Courier

Opinion

August 30, 2013

Davis Co. residents, businesses need access to affordable, reliable broadband

(Continued)

A 2012 survey of ITA members provided similar findings with 80 percent of respondents indicating the FCC’s ruling were delaying or canceling plans to deploy fiber or expand servies.

The latest research from Wichita State shows the rules changes will have a negative effect on employment and wages across Iowa, as well as state tax revenue. Telecommunication companies will be forced to cut their workforce within the next four years, resulting in a $14.9 million loss in wages. Because these companies provide service to nearly all of Iowa’s 99 counties, the ripple effect will translate into a statewide loss of $25.8 million in wages with an estimated loss of $2.3 million in income and sales tax revenue by 2017.

Citizens Mutual Telephone Cooperative provides the services that businesses and residents in Davis County need to survive and thrive. Any reduction in Citizens Mutual’s ability to grow these services will leave the businesses of our community in a poor position to compete against their urban counterparts.

Quality broadband touches all aspects of our community. It allows our students to compete in the classroom with those from larger communities. It allows all of our customers to live in a small-town community and still enjoy the availability of services otherwise restricted to large cities. It allows our senior citizens to remain in their homes longer and with a higher quality of life. And it gives our businesses a chance to compete against businesses in larger communities.

The FCC’s actions will have an impact on residents and businesses in Davis County. These actions stand in the way of our community’s access to reliable and affordable broadband services. The lack of access will also have a negative impact on our community’s economic growth.

I encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to voice your concerns and urge them to put pressure on the FCC to further investigate the economic impact of its rule changes. Visit www.iowalinkedup.org and click on the “Take Action” tab.

Let’s ensure that all Iowans have access to affordable and reliable broadband.

Joe Snyder is general manger of Citizens Mutual Telephone Cooperative in Bloomfield.

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