Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2016

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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4 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 EDITOR'S NOTE Broadband Communities (ISSN 0745-8711) (USPS 679-050) (Publication Mail Agreement #1271091) is published 7 times a year at a rate of $24 per year by Broadband Properties LLC, 1909 Avenue G, Rosenberg, TX 77471. Periodical postage paid at Rosenberg, TX, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Broadband Communities, PO Box 303, Congers, NY 10920-9852. CANADA POST: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. Copyright © 2016 Broadband Properties LLC. All rights reserved. CEO Barbara DeGarmo / barbara@bbcmag.com PUBLISHER Nancy McCain / nancym@bbcmag.com E D I TO R - I N - C H I E F Masha Zager / masha@bbcmag.com E D I TO R -AT- L A R G E Steven S. Ross / steve@bbcmag.com ADV ER T ISING SALES ACCO U N T E X E C U T I V E Irene Prescott / irene@bbcmag.com E V E N T S CO O R D I N ATO R Dennise Argil / dennise@bbcmag.com CO M M U N I T Y N E W S E D I TO R Marianne Cotter / marianne@bbcmag.com DESIGN & PRODUC T I O N Karry Thomas CO N T R I B U TO R S David Daugherty, Korcett Holdings Inc. Heather Burnett Gold, FTTH Council, NA Joanne Hovis, CTC Technology & Energy Michael A. Kashmer, Digital Broadband Programming Consultant W. James MacNaughton, Esq. Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance Henry Pye, RealPage, Inc. Bryan Rader, Bandwidth Consulting, LLC Craig Settles, Gigabit Nation Robert L. Vogelsang, Broadband Communities Magazine B ROAD BAN D PRO PE R TI E S LLC CEO Barbara DeGarmo V ICE PR ESIDEN T, BUSINESS & OPER AT I ONS Nancy McCain CHAIR MAN OF T HE BOAR D Robert L. Vogelsang V ICE CHAIR MAN The Hon. Hilda Gay Legg BUSINESS & EDI TOR IAL OFFICE BROADBAND PROPER T IES LLC 19 09 Avenue G • Rosenb erg, T X 77471 281. 342.9 655 • Fa x 281. 342.1158 w w w. bro adb andcommunities .com masha@bbcmag.com F or more than a decade, Broad B and Communities has published a special section on broadband and economic development in its year-end issue. Every year, new research and new success stories confirm that good broadband can be a powerful, cost-effective tool for economic development. Good broadband enables businesses to become more productive and reach new markets. It facilitates workforce training. It promotes the development of new industries. It makes communities more attractive places to live. It makes home-based businesses and telecommuting possible. And that's far from a complete list. For years, it seemed the only people who weren't getting this message were economic development professionals. Not all, certainly – we've written about outstanding agencies that promote broadband as a key economic driver. But, at the same time, we published reports on surveys showing that many economic development professionals had no idea what broadband was available in their communities or what residents and businesses needed. Now, the tide has turned. Even though the big economic development news of recent weeks was the bribing of a manufacturer to keep a few hundred jobs in Indiana (an approach proven ineffective long before I started writing about economic development in the 1970s), you can read in this magazine about economic development agencies whose job strategies are far more nuanced. In Rio Blanco County, Colorado, economic development director Katelin Cook (p. 16) sees the county's fiber network as a "negotiating tool" to attract and keep businesses. In addition to thinking about what types of businesses might relocate to Rio Blanco County and marketing the fiber network to them, her office helps existing companies leverage the network to enhance their businesses. At the Broad B and Communities 2016 economic development conference (p. 38), attendees heard three Midwestern agency directors describe how they help communities obtain broadband and use fiber networks to galvanize growth. Scottie Sandstrom of the Bayfield County (Wisconsin) Economic Development Corporation helped communities get to the front of the queue for CAF-funded deployments. He makes sure fiber gets to new business parks, and he markets the local gigabit network to vacationers who might become telecommuters. Charlie Walker of the Chippewa County (Minnesota) Economic Development Corporation helped the county obtain a grant to extend fiber to a new business park and made sure gigabit service was available there. And in Red Wing, Minnesota, Neela Mollgaard of Red Wing Ignite promotes technical education and internships, hackathons, business accelerators and gigabit application testing. "Our ultimate goal is to make Red Wing an innovative place to work and live," she says. at's the spirit! v Marketing Fiber Networks Forward-thinking economic development officials help communities leverage their fiber networks.

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