Letter to the Editor: County Provides Infrastructure – Business Thrives

By RICK REISS
Los Alamos County Councilor

With the volatile business and economic climate we now live in, the communities that will succeed and prosper are those that find a way to stimulate the efforts of their local business community with strategic support from local government entities to get the ball rolling.

Support, in the form of infrastructure and essential services, benefits the bigger community and enhances our business climate. Providing this catalyst to local business then serves to provide better products and services to the residents of the community

I am happy to report that we have an excellent example of strategic support from the County. Recently the Los Alamos County Council made the decision to fund access to high-speed Internet (fiber) by developing “meet me points” in the business-district of White Rock and Los Alamos.  These “meet me points” bring the fiber closer to the business community so more companies can connect.

A local business, Attack Research in White Rock, needed access to very high-speed Internet communication to stay competitive in its business. It was either get it here or move their operation – and their significant GRT – to another community. They worked with a company dedicated to entrepreneurship and economic development, Los Alamos Business incubation. LABi contacted me with the problem and an idea on how to solve it. 

Collectively, we agreed it would be easier and more realistic to connect the fiber infrastructure already in-place to the two major business districts in the County. This serves to stimulate the main economic engine of the Los Alamos Business Community and also makes the County more attractive to businesses considering a move to our community.

As a bonus, it should also facilitate local business community efforts towards providing more high-speed Internet access to the other parts of Los Alamos, especially the residential sections.

I brought the problem to the Los Alamos County Council, and the Council worked closely with REDI Net to facilitate this solution. The County Council unanimously approved “meet me point” funds.  The County administration judiciously allocated those funds to several strategic locations. 

The first step, adding the major node in White Rock, is now in-process. The cost for this is relatively low and will be recovered in a little over a year by the GRT from just that one business that will now stay here; money that would have been lost to us if they were forced to move away.

So, we have a partnership between the local business community, the County and other governmental entities that provided the seed money and infrastructure to make this happen. In the end, it should not only cost the taxpayers of Los Alamos little or no money, but should also serve to stimulate the local economy.

My hope and belief is it will get high-speed Internet to our residential areas faster than would be otherwise possible, through entrepreneurial business efforts and incremental strategic placement of infrastructure.

 
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