MOSES LAKE — Highlighting the success and true impact of high-speed Internet in four industries are goals of the Oct. 13 rural broadband summit at Big Bend Community College.
The industries of education, agriculture, healthcare and public safety are examined, according to Jenny Rickel, president of the Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance, GWATA, which is co-hosting the event.
The panelists are Dr. William Gotthold, director of medical informatics, with Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, Dean Hane, radio communications manager, with the Multi Agency Communications Center, Mick Qualls, president, Qualls AgLabs and Rich McBride, superintendent of the North Central Educational Service District.
She called the free event the first summit of its type. The public is invited to attend.
“It’s a pretty pivotal time,” Rickel noted.
She talked about how the federal Rural Utilities Service, RUS, funds were available for Internet expansion.
Chelan County PUD received a $25 million RUS grant in September.
Grant County PUD applied for the funds, but recently learned it wasn’t among the latest round of recipients.
Some people get upset about the amount of money being spent on broadband, as they’re concerned about their electric rates increasing, she said.
She contends broadband is saving money, providing information Tom Gerr gave during a recent radio interview with KBSN.
Gerr is executive director of Pacific Technology Alliance, which is co-hosting the event.
In the radio interview, Gerr said broadband use in telehealth reduced patient cost by $24,000 per person. The figure was gleaned from a case study in La Grande, Ore.
“People need to see the tangible successes,” she explained.
Keynote speakers are Joe Savage, president of Fiber-to-the-Home Council and Angela Wu, broadband policy and programs manager, with the state Department of Information Services.
Doors to the even open at 11 a.m., Oct. 13, at Big Bend’s ATEC Building, located at 7662 Chanute St. NE, Moses Lake. The program is held from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Lunch is also provided.
Event reservations must be made by Monday and can be done by visiting www.pacifictechnology.org