Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2014

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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96 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The Killer App for Local Fiber Networks For a community fber network, economic development may be the killer app – the application that validates the use of the platform. By Jim Baller, Joanne Hovis and Ashley Stelfox / Coalition for Local Internet Choice and Masha Zager / Broadband Communities N early every U.S. community that has developed a fber optic broadband network or partnered with the private sector to acquire one has put economic development at the top of its list of reasons for doing so. Communities increasingly recognize that fber networks also provide critical benefts for education, public safety, health care, transportation, energy, environmental protection, urban revitalization, government service and much more. But only in revitalizing and modernizing local economies and creating meaningful, well-paying jobs do community leaders, businesses, institutions and residents consistently fnd common ground. In short, economic development and job creation can fairly be called the "killer app" for local fber networks. Despite the central role of economic development and job creation in any discussion of fber networks, there is still much to learn about the relationship between them. WHAT IS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT? Let's begin with defnitions. According to the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Economic Development creates the conditions for economic growth and improved quality of life by expanding the capacity of individuals, frms, and communities to maximize the use of their talents and skills to support innovation, lower transaction costs, and responsibly produce and trade valuable goods and services. Economic Development requires efective, collaborative institutions focused on advancing mutual gain for the public and the private sector. Economic Development is essential to ensuring our economic future. 1 Similarly, the World Bank defnes economic development as follows: Te purpose of local economic development is to build up the economic capacity of a local area to improve its economic future and the quality of life for all. It is a process by which public, business and nongovernmental sector partners work collectively to create better The Summit economic development track will present more FTTH success stories. Austin, April 14–16.

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