Internet service is increasingly important for all citizens. This is especially true in northeastern North Carolina. Roanoke Electric Cooperative is using new internet access to help its member-owners save on power bills.
As important as this is, the Cooperative is focused on improving the lives of its member-owners and surrounding communities.
Roanoke Connect’s internet access service allows for additional advantages for our member-owners and our region. Please see below for more information and, of course, check back often!
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EDUCATION AND THE INTERNET
ELECTRONIC TEXTBOOKS. With the increased use of tablets and e-textbooks in schools, Internet access is a requirement to allow students at all levels to access resources related to textbooks and testing. Lack of Internet access often compromises homework and study time, or forces adjustments to the schedules of the parents and students.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION. While books and physical reference materials will always be key building blocks for learning, internet access has allowed the students of today to access disparate information on a demand basis. For example, a student in a government class can download the Congressional Record the day after a session of Congress, rather than waiting weeks for the information to be printed and then received at the nearest reference library.
DISTANCE LEARNING. Everyone knows that a high school diploma is the minimum education required in today's world, and that studies past high school are increasingly a necessity, not an option. With internet access, Distance Learning is able to bring the classroom to the student. This usually allows for savings in time AND cost compared to traditional studies at a community college or four-year university.
Having these capabilities in northeastern North Carolina allows young people AND their parents to access new educational resources to prepare for the jobs of the future.
HEALTH CARE AND THE INTERNET
ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS. It is more important than ever that individuals manage their health and medical care. Increasingly, physicians and other health care providers are creating portals that allow their patients to access data including billing and insurance information. More importantly, these portals allow patients to maintain access to their medical records and to communicate with their providers in a secure environment.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION. The best patients are those who have a clear understanding of medical and health issues. Most providers are extremely busy, and a patient's best outcome generally stems from an informed dialogue while with the doctor. Internet access allows for patients to reach out to resources relating to health, medicine, medications and other critical information to help them achieve well being.
TELEHEALTH. With increasing patient loads, and decreasing numbers, today’s medical practitioners often find themselves short of time and office space. Internet access allows for a patient to communicate with their provider from the comfort of their home or from a remote location. Telemetry access allows for a provider to access baseline data from devices in use by the patient and connected to the internet. These capabilities save time and money for the patient, and improve care from the provider.
Having these capabilities in northeastern North Carolina allows individuals the ability to make use of the technology being deployed by providers and hospitals elsewhere in the country.
GOVERNMENT AND THE INTERNET
CITIZEN SERVICES. Internet access allows for citizens to be closer to their government - more informed and more responsive. Whether via a portal on a town website for setting up automatic bill pay, to the efficiencies derived from providing electronic forms on-line, local governments reap the benefits of delivering more services more effectively.
TRANSPARENCY. Internet access allows for meetings and hearings to be streamed for easier citizen access. The internet allows for reports and reference materials to be available on a near 24 x 7 basis, and allows a requester to locate their own information, which saves governments time and tax dollars.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. It is critical for local government to support the retention of existing businesses and to work hard on attracting new investment to create jobs and enhance the tax base. Internet access is a critical component, as noted above and below, of efforts to promote economic development in an area.
Jobs and the Economy
LARGE EMPLOYERS. Large employers in northeast North Carolina are typically production or services organizations such as manufacturing, agricultural processing, or construction type services. Virtually every company in the United States is connected to the Internet. Whether exchange data files, utilizing cloud services, accessing internet-based services, or using IP-based phone services, internet access is key for business. New internet access services allows for economic developers another tool to protect existing plant and business investments from potential relocation.
STARTUPS. Many pundits suggest that the economy of the future is driven by large numbers of independent individuals, who form logical organizations for the production or distribution of products, services and information. The key to success for small companies and startups is access to the internet. Collaboration, research, analysis and presentation are all conducted through internet portals. New internet access in northeast North Carolina allows our area to attract, retain and develop these startups.
INTERACTIVITY. Businesses are integrated in a manner today never imagined only a generation ago. Competitor today. Partner tomorrow. The old rules related to vertical or horizontal information no longer apply. Such quick stops and starts in commerce require internet access.
Agriculture and the Economy
IN THE FIELD. The use of the Internet and private networks in agriculture is growing rapidly. Satellite systems are being supplanted by fixed wireless systems and private WANs on farms. What seems like science fiction a scant two decades ago is commonplace today in fields. Real-time moisture, chemical and discharge analysis allows a farmer to tailor water, fertilizer and work in the field to meet requirements.
IN THE BARN. As with the fields, today’s farmers are able to pull real-time information via wireless systems in place and monitor everything from temperature to food levels to humidity. Interactions with manufacturers of feed and medications allow farmers to coordinate with their partners via their WAN and the internet to optimize yields.
INTERACTIVITY. As discussed above, businesses are integrated in a manner today never imagined only a generation ago. This holds true for agricultural business as well. The entire agricultural ecosystem, from vendor to machinery manufacturer, to extension service are all interconnected; internet access opens these doors up to the farmer.
* Network access is being installed across the Service territory. Roanoke Electric Cooperative is unable to guarantee all member-owners will have access to the network. In some instances, the ability to access the network may be compromised by terrain or other issues. In these cases, Roanoke Electric Cooperative may require investment (or contribution) from the member-owner in order to provide network access.