For how long have we heard politicians speak about the need for high-speed internet access in rural America? How long did we hear big telecom companies tell us wiring up rural America was too expensive? Didn’t it seem like having new options for internet service was always some time in the future?

It seems the future is now. Stillwater and surrounding rural communities are finally getting the investment and competition among internet services providers, with Bluepeak and Centranet entering the game. No longer a dream in a far-off future, direct-to-home fiber gigabit connections are indeed right around the corner.

Remember when 3G cellular service came online in Stillwater a decade ago, and our phones became just a touch faster? And for rural homes, 3G wireless service provided a better home internet connection than what the wired companies could offer via DSL and dial-up – which by the way, still exists.

It feels like we are about to go through a similar upgrade but on a much bigger scale.

Get ready to see utility trucks in your neighbors this year stringing some of the sweet data at the speed of light. Having most of the community wired to gigabit speeds will be transformative.

That transformation starts with new jobs created. Bluepeak has job listings for installers, technicians, managers, and sales. Some of those jobs may not last beyond the initial build-out phase but what’s more exciting is the next phase.

Better internet access puts us on the map for entrepreneurs who would rather build their widgets or write their software in a community like ours.

Imagine how many of our young and talented minds could STAY in the community, knowing they can dream, build, and find success without limits.

Can a simple plastic cable offer such possibilities?

Looking at other communities that have had gigabit connections for years, it seems so.

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