Last week I gave a talk at a local chapter of the Kiwanis Club about how the Internet is evolving and touched on some key things happening locally that may help us keep up with these changes. I talked about a couple local community wireless projects in the works and at the end of my talk was rewarded with an anecdote about how one businessman improvised. He had come in to Eureka for a meeting and discovered he had left a file he needed on his computer back at the office. With no Internet access where he was, he drove around looking for a wireless connection. He found one by sitting in the parking lot at the Best Western. I guess they have an open connection. He was able to access his office, get the file he needed and get to his meeting.

Congratulation to this gentleman on his resourcefulness. But is this any way to run a business? Or for a city or county to run its telecommunications infrastructure? For an area that wants to attract high tech clean industries, in lieu of declining timber and fisheries I am hoping. I am hoping things will improve soon.

On April 5 and 6 Broadband Forum II will be held in Fortuna and Eureka, and will address a range of telecommunications infrasturcture issues. Decision makers from government and business will be invited to learn about the next steps needed to be taken in ensuring redundant fiber access for our region. They will also have the opportunity to understand some of the options for making broadband access more available through wireless networks and other options.

I am hopeful this event will bring about real action in our community. We’ve talked about these things long enough. For more information on the Broadband Forum II go here.