The Malone Telegram

Tuesday, May 5, 1998


EDITORIAL


OPINION


Established 1905 Malone, New York 12953

Published Monday through Saturday by the Malone Newspapers Corp..

John B. Johnson, President/Treasurer

Catherine C. Johnson, Secretary

387 East Main Street . Phone 518-483-4700

JOHN B. JOHNSON President

RUSSELL F. WEBSTER Publisher

RONALD W. HOSIE Editor

New computer links vital to progress here

The electronic revolution in communications has the potential to improve services in rural areas such as the North Country where at times it is not as cost-effective to establish expensive centers of expertise as it is in more populated, urbanized areas.



But first, a community must figure out how to harness the technology and apply it locally.

Fortunately, that just happened here in a big way.

Area schools, governments, medical facilities and others now can achieve immediate two-way video and computer information links to gain quick internet access, and other computer services and information that hadn't been as widely available in northern New York. The Alice Hospital in Malone, however, already had been linked to such medical services.

The access comes through the Adirondack Network, which was unveiled here last week.

The advanced high-speed technology is intended to improve rural areas' business climates, enhance health care services and enrich educational opportunities by linking the North Country and New York's Capital District through an interactive, or two-way community network.

It is an example of the cutting-edge technology New York State needs to be economically competitive with other states and countries to lead our nation into the next century.

The network culminates project begun several years ago, when BOCES received a $1.3 million grant to set the system up. The money for the communications network comes from a $50 million statewide cash pool created with cash from NYNEX (now Bell Atlantic) due to a rate settlement between the company and the New York State Public Service Commission.

In the end, some 17,000 students in the region will have access to the services as well as the medical and other professionals. We all are the better for the network's availability. Such an advantage is vital to a quality education, and enhanced quality of life, for the 21st-Century person.