It is beyond time to solve our internet issues.
As most people understand, our society is completely dependent on fiber cable communications. Our homes, businesses, and supporting emergency services cannot operate without being linked to this type of communications systems. In the last four years, there have been 7 major internet and broadband services interruption and loss of cellular phone service in northern, Gila County. August of last year for example, the town of Payson experienced the disruption of town businesses and services for 12 hours when the one and only cable got damaged.
Businesses could not operate their registers, gas stations could not pump gas, and 911 emergencies could not be called in from homes. People who work from their homes could not conduct business.
This is a twofold issue. First, we must have reliable internet service in order to conduct our daily lives. And Second, we must have the ability to expand reliable internet service to grow our town. To solve this problem we need what is referred to as redundant internet capacity. While the town has no authority over the internet providers, I believe we can work with several key parties to accomplish this goal. We currently have a Broadband committee made up of town experts and service providers looking for opportunities to solve this problem for the long term.
The Town of Payson has had very limited involvement thus far. As Mayor, I intend to change that and will work closely with this committee and Gila County and other citizens who may have other options for us to consider. The recently passed federal spending bill, which allocates $600 million for broadband expansion in rural areas could help us obtain our goal. This is one of my key objectives to accomplish if elected. I will seek the financial assistance because I believe having reliable internet service is absolutely critical to the safety of our citizens and the viability of our businesses and to our future growth.