Ottumwa hosts 'Gigabit Nation'

Craig Settles, a technology expert out of California, hosts his radio show in Ottumwa.

Talk about technology connecting the country.

Craig Settles, a technology expert based in California, held a live radio show on the Ottumwa Indian Hills campus Thursday afternoon, talking about the significance of broadband and fiber optics with a guest in North Carolina.

Settles was in town to evaluate Ottumwa's technology needs and potential, as well as answer any questions and concerns in two town hall meetings open to the public. Broadband, very simply, improves the speed of communication. Strong broadband technology has the potential to create jobs, stimulate the local economy and improve health care and school systems.

As for Settles' show, "Gigabit Nation", today's focus was, of course, on fiber optics and broadband. Settles said a group of Job Crops students who were at one of the town hall meetings were interested in the operations of a one-man radio show and doing one themselves.

"So the beauty of all this is that it is relatively simple and it is self-contained, so that we're able, or I'm able, to reach out to folks, set up the interview, I can interview as many as three, four people at a time," Settles said.

Throughout the one-hour show, Settles interacted with fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter, as well as answered listeners' questions via chat room. Both Settles and his guests know the potential and benefits technology can bring to a town and have seen the economic advantages firsthand.

Ottumwa is currently in the early stages of a fiber optics and broadband project. Settles will be back in town next year to follow-up with his findings.