Internet is infrastructure
To the editor:
In his March 18-31 NH Business Review column (“How many laws can we afford?”) Brad Cook makes some good points about laws that get passed in the NH Legislature, but are underfunded and, hence, not enforceable.
He argues, as all good conservatives do, that business does it better than government and that we should leave most solutions to private enterprises. Maybe true, but his main example for such legislation misses the mark entirely.
Mr. Cook dismisses the recently defeated House Bill 1180, which would have allowed municipalities to bond expansion of public Internet services, as an inappropriate intrusion by government in order to ease, “how frustrated we may be by our Internet service providers.”
Does Mr. Cook understand the concept of infrastructure and the role government plays in that very public service? As New Hampshire job creators, my wife and I brought tens of millions of revenue dollars into our state. High-speed Internet access was one of the most essential components for us to conduct our business worldwide. While business-friendly Internet services are available in the larger municipalities, that is not so in most New Hampshire towns.
Sure, an entrepreneur might, not always, be able to get a high-speed connection in a modestly remote location (as is characteristic of most of New Hampshire), but only at a ridiculously unaffordable cost.
Like the interstate highway system that the Republican Eisenhower’s government built for Mr. Cook’s generation of business, high-speed broadband Internet is the worldwide highway of our time and essential component of 21st century businesses. If we want NH businesses in all of our towns to grow and prosper, we need to build publicly sound infrastructure, including Internet.