Internet contract represents big win for all of North Idaho

Print Article

Mike Kennedy

High-speed internet is no longer a luxury, itís a necessity. Broadband brings educational opportunities, drives economic growth, creates jobs, and is a fundamental aspect of the modern economy. But the need for high-speed broadband is still unmet.

We at Intermax Networks are focused on closing the digital divide between urban and rural areas and help serve areas in north Idaho that have historically been underserved.

Because of that, last month we were awarded $11.5 million over 10 years from the Federal Communications Commission in an auction to expand rural broadband in Kootenai, Bonner, Benewah, Boundary and Spokane counties.

Economic development

Rural communities need faster internet ó period. People who reside outside cities have been at a disadvantage, and rural counties have struggled for access. This funding will help open the door for north Idaho startups and companies to compete for jobs by attracting businesses that need broadband to operate.

Idahoís overall average internet speed ranked last in the country in 2017, according to a study by Broadview Networks. That fact alone hinders economic development. Intermax, working in the areas funded by the FCC, will greatly improve that performance in the Panhandle.

Education and lifelong learning

Schools use technology every day in the classroom. Internet access gives teachers more flexibility, allowing for individual instruction, utilizing apps and programs that let students learn at their own pace, and do their own research.

But right now there are teachers that have to be careful about assigning homework that requires students to go online, because many rural students canít download materials at home. Homeschoolers too often struggle for modern access to online learning materials. We are working to fix that.

Education extends beyond the traditional classroom from pre-K to college degrees and continuing education. Most educational programs now offer an online component which can help rural students living hours away from the nearest campus.

This expansion of Intermax broadband aims to make it easier on parents, teachers, and students all over North Idaho.

Health care and quality of life

Access to and quality of health care can be a real problem in rural areas. Telemedicine is here, but the benefits donít matter when people canít access it. Providing high speed internet can empower senior citizens and people with disabilities to live independently, increasing their participation in economic and civic life, and reducing the cost of medical care.

Intermax and the tech culture of North Idaho

Iím proud that our locally owned and operated company was able to stand tall with the big multinational firms when it comes to winning funding support from the FCC. The people we hire, the technology improvements we benefit from, and the expansion of broadband all serve to lift the culture of technology and entrepreneurship in our community.

Intermax has invested millions in our network already. Having a partnership with the FCC will allow that to go faster. Weíll be able to provide new jobs and new tower construction opportunities while we provide more capacity for our customers.

A rising tide

Youíve heard the saying ďa rising tide lifts all boats.Ē As we improve the access to high speed for our rural neighbors, the economy and access to opportunity for all of us in North Idaho will benefit.

• ē†ē

Mike Kennedy is president of Intermax Networks in Coeur díAlene. Contact: mkennedy@intermaxteam.com

Print Article

Read More

MY TURN: Hope for Idaho forests

November 21, 2019 at 10:49 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership (IFRP) wishes to thank Idaho Governor Brad Little for appointing us to the stateís Shared Stewardship Advisory Committee, which will hold its first meeting ...

Comments

Read More

Holiday travel weather alert: Storm clouds gathering

November 21, 2019 at 10:13 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Thanksgiving holiday travel for North Idahoans is looking rougher by the minute. According to Press climatologist Cliff Harris, a weak system headed this way is picking up momentum. ďThe storm has ...

Comments

Read More

Briefly

November 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press • An article Wednesday declaring Alex Barronís candidacy for Idaho Senate District 3 included some confusing information. The story said current Sen. Don Cheatham is retiring ó but he isnít qui...

Comments

Read More

All-Intermountain League football

November 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press ALL-INTERMOUNTAIN LEAGUE FOOTBALL MVP ó Joey Follini, Timberlake Offensive Player of the Year ó Jeremy McLemore, Timberlake Defensive Player of the Year ó Josh Yanez, Timberlake Lineman of the Ye...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X