The political campaign has already begun for the June 6 elections. Web sites are going up, campaign offices are opening and press releases are going out. One of the first campaigns to get under way is Nancy Fleming who is running for County Supervisor from the 4th District. Among her issues is wireless access. From her web site:
“We need to create the infrastructure for access to Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, and Internet for every household, business and school in this district. We need affordable (or free!) access to Broadband not only for homes and businesses but for more efficiency with law enforcement and safety officials.”
It’s difficult to know from this statement if she means providing “affordable (or free!)” wireless access to the whole county or just to the 4th District. I assume she must mean just the 4th District which includes Eureka, Samoa and Fairhaven. I further assume she probably means just Eureka. And I would even suspect she may mean just the downtown/Old Town area of Eureka. This is a reasonable and achievable goal. And, in fact, is already being set in motion. If I am wrong and she means the whole county, this would be an ambitious goal indeed and far more diifficult to do. But I am all for any of these possibilities.
By getting out in front with this issue, has Nancy Fleming laid claim to it or will Bonnie Neely the incumbent respond with her own proposal along these lines? I hope so, not to proclaim my allegiance to one or the other. But if both candidates for the 4th District have wireless or other broadband solutions on their radar, this means at least one Supervisor, whichever wins, will at least need to address it. This could only be good for those of us who believe high speed, low cost Internet access is crucial for economic survival, let alone future development.
I hope others running in other races pick up the issue. In April the Redwood Coast Rural Action group and the RTC will be presenting another Broadband Forum which will bring decision makers and stakeholder together for 2 days of discussion and workshops on broadband, redundancy and wirelss access. Stay tuned.