Reynolds Tours MCG
Oskaloosa, Iowa – Internet access is a valuable resource to a community, not unlike highways and other infrastructure.
Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds visited our local internet service provider, Mahaska Communication Group, to become more familiar with the operation as Reynolds and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad have continued an initiative to ‘Connect Every Iowan’. The purpose of the ‘Connect Every Iowan Act’, would have incentives to encourage access, adoption and use of broadband technology by businesses and individuals in Iowa.
The MCG tour was part of staying informed of all 99 counties in the state. “We’re working on being out in the state and meeting with various companies, to talk about our objectives and our vision but also to get feedback”, said Reynolds during her visit to MCG.
“They’ve done a great job here in Oskaloosa” Reynolds said of the MCG operations. “We want to be sure we can talk about the ‘Connect Every Iowan Initiative’ the Governor’s working on and get some great feedback from individuals that have done a great job in their community.”
Internet connectivity has recently been compared to transportation in its importance to business and commerce. Reynolds said that it is important to making sure the necessary bandwidth is available to help facilitate the goal of becoming “the most connected state in the Midwest”. Reynolds added, “We know that bandwidth and connectivity not only helps economic development, especially in rural Iowa”, highlighting benefits to health care, public safety and education. “We want to make sure the students have the bandwidth in the communities that they [students] need to participate.”
MCG has also been part of a public utilities program in Indianola where the community owns the fiber optic network and utilizes outside vendors to provide the services to its community infrastructure and residents.
This type of public private partnership has been explored as a way of providing a lower cost for business and consumers, while helping to provide the same or greater level of network reliability.
One of the challenges to such arrangements can be difficult when older business models bump into newer technology and ways of providing services needed.