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Editorial: A broadband revolution

While rural residents in this region -- and across the country -- did without basic electricity for years, it's safe to say its arrival revolutionized their ways of life. Now, of course, it's virtually impossible to imagine going back to those days of old.

Today, broadband access is the 21st-century version of that type of modernization. And in a world in which communication takes place at instantaneous speed, it's critical that folks in non-urban areas not get left behind.

Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp., thanks to available money from C.K. Blandin Foundation, is aiming to support the advancement of broadband technology in southwest Minnesota. In receiving $1.1 million in federal funds for its Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) program, Blandin -- with WREDC's help -- is now seeking project proposals that would: ensure broadband availability; ensure workers have the skills necessary for good jobs; ensure all have broadband access and the skills to use it; provide new or more efficient government and business services; and attract investment and talent.

Getting broadband to everyone is essential in furthering economic development in rural America. We're pleased a local effort is taking place to help make this goal a reality.