CNN visits City Hall
Wednesday, February 17 2010 12:00 AM
CNN visited on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 to examine the region’s efforts to implement an advanced telecommunications connectivity through a fiber to the home network. CNN also wanted to take a closer look at Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Inc., and its failed application for first-round funding from the broadband component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and examine opportunities lost. While HBC was recently informed that its request for funds was denied by both the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture they are exploring the feasibility of partnering with the City of Red Wing in an attempt to garner funding in the second round.
Emily Probst, CNN producer spent time at Red Wing’s City Hall talking to residents, business leaders and public officials about the impact the failed application has in Red Wing. Scott Wordelman, President of Red Wing’s Fairview Health Services discussed the importance of home health care monitoring and the benefits of early intervention with regard to health problems. Mr. Wordelman also discussed communication needs between Fairview Red Wing and its health care partners in the region including the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic. Ken Hilton, owner of Red Wing Software discussed the challenges and expense related to his company’s operations. Red Wing Software has an overwhelming need for more bandwidth at a more competitive price. Ken indicated their remote employees need to send files late at night simply because if they send a file during the work day, their server comes to a standstill. Mike Schultz, Red Wing City Council President and City Staff discussed the need for serving the City’s remote facilities, better service with regard to public safety and the economic opportunities a robust fiber optic network would bring to the City.
The CNN special will be aired on The Situation Room by Wolf Blitzer the week of February 22nd.