Wednesday, April 3, 2002/lk
A very powerful technological advance is soon to become a part of Hood River County's everyday life. While I am certainly not an expert in the area of fiber optics, or the digital technologies made possible by the use of fiber optics, I have been faithfully keeping up with world-wide developments in this arena. I do this mainly on the Internet via my computer modem.
There is not enough room in a "letter to the editor" to discuss all the varied considerations that this technological advancement brings to the Hood River valley. These include funding options, who regulates its use, fees charged for its use, and the million dollar question -- who will stand to benefit the most economically.
I do know that the model that has been found to work in numerous United States communities, and several other countries, has been the municipally-owned and bond-financed model (check out Ashland, Oregon's "Ashlandfibernet").
This is the ideal time for the Hood River News to author a series of "public service" stories interviewing Hood River County officials, Hood River City officials, NOANET officers, and other valid sources (maybe Sprint's local management team) to produce the needed public involvement, and awareness, concerning this technological development, and how it is to be implemented.
Now is the time for this discussion to materialize, considering that NOANET will be available soon, and meeting between Sprint, Hood River County officials, NOANET, and various interested parties have been taking place regularly for an extended period of time.