Get conNEctedWritten by Beatriz Reyna
Engaging people and linking the world is the focus for business and community leaders in Keith County.
Beatriz Reyna takes us to Ogallala where a statewide initiative is underway to bring high speed broadband Internet access to everyone in the state.
It sets the tone for economic and job growth in a global competitive market.
“Nebraska is a leader in broadband and we hope to stay it that way. We hope to bring more jobs to Nebraska,” says Randy Saner, UNL Extention Educator.
UNL's Extension Center is by traveling the state to get others up to speed.
“Broadband is an economic tool in hopes to attract more business and increase the livelihood,” says Charlotte Narjes, UNL Extention Center Special Projects Mgr.
“Especially for small businesses they see about twenty to forty percent improvements on the bottom line and increase some of the buyers by adopting broadband,” says Saner.
The tour is part of a national effort to bring broadband high speed internet access and information technology to all areas of the state.
“By doing that people can live in a smaller community and get instant access to some high medical records that is one example. Another is education schools throughout Nebraska now have at least forty gigabytes now that they can access technology with and they are looking at how they can expand that further which is huge,” says Narjes.
Travis Haggard says Ogallala is growing because of broadband.
“There are businesses that have stayed in Ogallala because of broadband and our ability with our fiber networks that they would've have ultimately had to leave because of the demand, storage and the speed; they probably would've left the community if it wasn't for the broadband technology that we opened up here in Ogallala,” says Travis Haggard, Ogallala Economic Development Coordinator.
Yet, he's curious what capabilities lay ahead.
“Even though today we may have state of the art technology and band with are we going to need tomorrow, next year or in the next ten years? Absolutely. The nice thing the infrastructure is here to increase that,” says Haggard.