Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR's Community Broadband Networks initiative, was quoted in the Stanly News & Press's coverage of Let's Connect, a series of community meetings organized by ILSR, the North Carolina League of Municipalities, and NC Hearts Gigabit. The meetings brought together community leaders, local ISPs, policy experts, and residents to talk about the need for better broadband and potential solutions for the region. His contributions are below:
“In general, most of rural N.C. has pretty poor access,” said Mitchell, “and I would say not an obvious solution for where better access is going to come from because providers like CenturyLink and AT&T that serve telephone to a lot of rural North Carolina do not have the capacity or the interest in upgrading those services, so there needs to be some other actor that comes in to provide that investment.”
The ultimate goal behind the event is to eventually “have high quality internet access to everyone,” Mitchell said.
“Everyone in the nation is going to have it,” Mitchell said. “The question is, is it going to take 20 years or seven years?”
Mitchell said Stanly is a classic rural county with the major population center of Albemarle having “pretty adequate” internet access compared to the other cities around it. But he said even Albemarle does not have the access people in Charlotte or Raleigh possess.
“Over the next 50 years, we will see the internet change society more than what electricity has done,” Mitchell said.