nwnews-now : local news in your e-mail box as it happens

Opinion

Local cities could be left behind in communications

state-of-the-art communications Up to now, most people have only thought of the cable company as the company that brings you television shows, movies, and sporting events. Up to now, they would be correct in thinking this.
   What is happening is that cable companies are in competition with other communications companies to be the provider of services like video conferencing and Internet connections. You may have followed the hoopla over the Telecommunications Act passed in Washington, D.C.
   What does this have to do with the citizens of this area?
   Imagine if this part of Northshore--Bothell and Woodinville to be more precise--were not upgraded by the cable company to provide these services. Imagine that we were left as is to just receive the same old movies, etc., that we have been getting, while other communities get state-of-the-art systems. Imagine those other communities offering to businesses looking to relocate ready availability of competitive communications.
   Get the picture now? Now imagine our schools not being able to benefit from links that if the cable company hadn't offered the local phone company either wouldn't do or would make too pricey to even consider. Want your kids to live in a technology backwater?
   Right now, the cities of Bothell and Woodinville have joined forces to negotiate a landmark ability to upgrade where and who they want, but there are factors that the local governing bodies must negotiate to make that happen.
   Why is this important right now? Because it is happening now and the councils of these two cities need to know just how you feel about these long range issues. You need to let them know whether you think that having cable that does more than just feed us TV is important to you, your family or you business.
   Call or fax them your concerns. Do it soon or we may be left behind with no way to catch up.

Bill Miller, former Bothell Councilman 1991-95, Bothell