Red Wing included in national broadband programTechnological developers, Red Wing is open for business.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Technological developers, Red Wing is open for business.
That’s the message the area is hoping to send through a partnership between HBC and US Ignite, a national program aimed at spurring the development of next-generation Internet applications and services.
The program highlights areas that have high-speed broadband connections and, in Red Wing, also will foster an incubator for technological entrepreneurs, said Jerry Olson, HBC general manager in Red Wing. The test-bed communities have committed to providing gigabit speeds.
“We’re very excited that this puts Red Wing on the map as one of the leaders in technology infrastructure that allows this kind of development,” Olson said.
The partnership and participants, which include 12 service providers in 25 cities, were announced Thursday at the White House.
“It’s very exciting for Red Wing to be one of 25 cities in the country to participate in the partnership,” Port Authority Board President Mike Grove said. Outside of HBC’s area, the closest participating city is in central Illinois.
The ideas for how to utilize this high-speed connection really will stem from developers.
“This creates the stage for which a lot of these developments can happen” whether they are privately or publically funded or a public-private partnership, Olson said. “That really is the bottom line — fostering economic development and improving quality of life.”
The program has six priority areas for the applications: education and work force development, advanced manufacturing, health IT, transportation, public safety and clean energy.
Olson gave one example of using the connection for health IT applications: A patient could stay in his or her home while being monitored at a medical facility in real time with devices connected to the network and alert doctors if there is an issue. Doctors could even hold appointments via video conference, without the patient ever having to leave the home.
The partnership is a community effort, not just HBC and US Ignite, Olson emphasized.
“The community will benefit from the US Ignite Initiative because it helps advance the Port Authority’s priority of attracting high-tech business and knowledge-based workers to Red Wing,” Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said in a statement. “US Ignite will help us attract businesses that are dedicated to creating applications that will benefit Red Wing residents and businesses, and also the global environment.”
The projects and high-speed connection support the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon commission on economic development and the Port Authority and city’s efforts, Grove said.
The high-tech industry has been a key focus of the Port Authority and in economic development efforts, he said. In the coming days, weeks and months, the Port Authority will be looking at how it can harness the benefits of the partnership and take it to the next level, he added.
“Many thanks go out to all the forward-thinking citizens that started the journey to bring broadband to our community seven years ago,” Council President Ralph Rauterkus said in a statement. “We are excited to be continuing our partnership with HBC and we are ready for the next leg of the journey.”