EXTending a hand: Extending broadband in Dunn County

Sunday, April 09, 2017

John is worried that his larger ad in the Yellow Pages is not drawing customers to his small business on Main Street, even though he added a link to a bare bones website. Kaitlyn is relieved her freshman year in high school is drawing to a close; it has been such a hassle to try to find a ride to the library from her rural residence so she can do her homework. Ruth is disappointed that she can’t go home after a recent cardiac event, but her doctor won’t allow it unless he can monitor her pacemaker remotely.

Very different perspectives, and what unites them? Access to and use of high speed internet technology that would improve life for each. Widespread access to high speed internet, sometimes referred to as broadband, is a disruptive innovation, a term coined by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen in the 1990’s to describe a new method or device that upends existing markets. Broadband has disrupted formerly established ways of doing things in nearly all aspects of our lives.

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