Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2017

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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MARCH/APRIL 2017 | www.broadbandcommunities.com | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 23 learning can acquire more skills and potentially reap higher incomes as self-employed freelancers. (A 2016 study commissioned by Upwork and the Freelancers Union indicated that the freelance workforce represents 35 percent of the U.S. workforce and that nearly three-quarters of these workers use technology to find work.) E-commerce has become commonplace, but small rural retailers are intimidated by competing with the ongoing innovations of online ordering and two-day delivery of Amazon (and now Walmart, Target and even Google). To address this need to stay current amid accelerating change, new e-learning services are growing. ey provide tips on how best to benefit from apps that address each user's priorities. Essential benefits can save time and money, such as smarter online shopping, remote telehealth services, and quick access to government information as necessary. Voice commands and dictation can now turn a voicemail into a text email or the reverse. Users don't need to learn to type, or even read, to interact online. at means all citizens can learn to help both themselves and others. It means nations will compete economically and socially on their challenge to engage and empower all citizens. Lending my wings to others was my original hope as I set out to share my new freedoms and abilities. After having enjoyed 20 years as a Lone Eagle, self-employed and teaching online from a rural ranchhouse in southwestern Montana, to my chagrin, I've found more resistance than acceptance. But that lesson sets the stage for the present challenges. v Frank Odasz is the president of Lone Eagle Consulting, which has specialized in rural, remote and indigenous Internet learning since 1997, and a board member of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. Contact Frank at frank@lone-eagles.com. New e-learning services can help rural residents take advantage of opportunities to earn their livings online, to shop wisely and to access health care and government services.

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