Joe Melroyby Joe Melroy, Port Commissioner

In January it’s natural to reflect upon accomplishments of the past year, but more importantly it’s time to look ahead to goals for the upcoming year.

At the port, our effort to secure the right to develop broadband infrastructure for the Discovery Corridor continues to be at the forefront of our focus in 2018. If it isn’t yet abundantly clear why the port thinks this is so critically important, let me explain.

Our community has made its mark by thinking far into the future when it comes to infrastructure development. For example, over 20 years ago, we pushed for a new I-5 interchange to improve transportation access, and it happened. The same is true for a rail overpass – it’s happening. Our water and sewer system backbone – done. All of these things have helped create the desirable community we live in – and one well-poised to manage the inevitable growth that’s coming as the path of development pushes north up I-5.

But we’re still missing one piece of important infrastructure, and that’s high-speed broadband. In today’s world, it is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. We don’t have it, and we need it. We need it so we can be more productive, so businesses in the Discovery Corridor can be more competitive, and so we have access to online services and smart technology that can enhance educational opportunities and improve community safety.

The bottom line is that if we don’t have highspeed broadband infrastructure in Ridgefield and the Discovery Corridor, businesses won’t move here, and attracting talent will be more difficult. We’ve got to get infrastructure right.

And right now, broadband is the most critical infrastructure we need for our people and our economy.