Co-op should show its cards | Editorial

The Journal seconds Chom Greacen’s letter lauding Orcas Power and Light Cooperative’s help in overcoming the recent fiber-optic cable failure. When the chips were literally down, OPALCO, Rock Island and other local businesses responded quickly and effectively.

The OPALCO board also deserves applause for approving the next step to bring the county into the 21st century. Although a bare bones resolution, the board clearly directed OPALCO to expand broadband communications capability.

But both Greacen (“Co-op should look before giant leap”, below) and The Journal think it’s now time for OPALCO to put some meat on the infrastructure skeleton. The co-op should provide “details of the broadband investment plan and financial analysis,” as Greacen advocates.

We hope OPALCO doesn’t just respond again that “we’re going to hire a telecommunications expert” to provide those details. If it does, the “expert” will doubtless take six months to find out where we are now, another six months to engage the community in another round of “community conversations”, and another six months to write a plan.

It’s time for OPALCO to devise a game plan and “show us the money” before enthusiasm wanes and the community turns its attention to more mundane pursuits, like trying to make money with infrastructure that lags behind Ephrata in internet speed.

Otherwise, instead of joining Moses Lake and Ephrata as modern communities, we’ll join the nearby Gingko Petrified Forest State Park as a place that might be nice to visit, but one where making a living is increasingly difficult.


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