San Leandro, CA

Why Community Broadband is Important

Why Community Broadband is Important

Industry analyst and colleague Craig Settles offers his personal perspective on why community broadband is important.

When someone suffers a stroke [as Craig did in late January], they have three hours to get serious treatment or they often will not recover from its debilitating effects. I was lucky, but a person living alone in a community with bad communications infrastructure can easily fall outside of that three-hour window.

You see, wireless and other technology enable emergency responders to treat the patient while they’re still at home — and en route to the hospital. Sufficient broadband makes this possible.

He cites a critical moment in his treatment:

Unknown to me at the time, Alameda Hospital in Northern California has a righteous stroke center. The neurologist who runs the center has computers, monitors and a server at her home. When I hit the ER at 10:45 that night, she directed the entire team of five or six doctors and nurses from her home office — she saw everything that they saw, which is a feat highly unlikely in broadband-deprived communities.

Following a sudden emergency like a stroke, the recovery period is critical. Friends and family are part of the big picture, as are appointments and follow-up care. If you’ve ever used your computer to further your own health and well-being, you know how valuable and time-saving online access can be.

We’re thrilled that Craig has weathered his storm with as little damage as he reported, and send him our best wishes for continued and full recovery.