Contributing Writer

People shook off that jealousy, though, and created electric cooperatives and found other ways to bring light to the darkness. That’s where we are today in the USA with Internet Access, according to James Baller. He was the keynote speaker at The Rural Broadband Technology Solutions Summit held last week at Greenfield Education and Training Center. The summit, put on by the Botetourt County Broadband Advisory Commission, lasted two days and brought in more than 40 speakers knowledgeable on the legal, economic, and monetary issues inherent in trying to bring high-speed internet service to an agricultural community.

Over 100 people participated in the event, according to Arleen Boyd, a member of the county’s Broadband Commission who spearheaded the initiative. Baller indicated that broadband in rural areas will come at the behest of local governments. “Local governments are trusted by the public in ways many other public institutions are not,” he said. However, since by law localities cannot supply broadband and compete with private industries, the solution is to create public-private partnerships with…

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