Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 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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4 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 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 © 2017 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 Rollie Cole, Sagamore Institute for Policy Research David Daugherty, Korcett Holdings Inc. Heather Burnett Gold, Fiber Broadband Association 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, UpStream Network 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 I n the 1990s, when internet access first became common, no one talked about using the internet effectively. ere wasn't much to do online, and what there was, wasn't difficult. Searching, emailing, buying books and airline tickets, participating in a chat group – who needed help with any of that? At around the same time, business scholars began talking about "disruptive technologies," but in those days, few people understood how profoundly the internet would disrupt the world of work. en secretaries and travel agents began to vanish, and social media strategists and eBay sellers appeared in their place. Lifetime jobs disappeared, and job-hopping and "alternative work" took over. Fast forward a couple of decades, and all of life seems to have migrated online. Today, there's a lot to learn. Chatting with friends isn't enough – chatting with customers is necessary, too. Researching a vacation destination is simple, but researching potential new markets requires skill. In the broadband age, employers and employees must keep reinventing themselves, learning new skills and thinking in new ways about running businesses and managing careers. Community leaders now accept that the key to economic development isn't simply obtaining adequate internet service – though that's still a major challenge – but also teaching businesses and workers to leverage their internet access and thrive in the new economy. Strategic Networks Group, whose research has often been presented in this magazine, has argued for years that many businesses, especially small businesses, still use only the simplest internet tools but could succeed and grow by adopting solutions such as e-commerce, web-based customer service and telework. REINVENTION is issue of Broad B and Communities is filled with examples of individuals, businesses and communities reinventing themselves. From a Vermont town attracting creative workers with its "weird and decrepit" vibe to displaced tobacco farmers and textile workers learning to supply produce to high-end restaurants, to a local Minnesota paper attracting a new generation of readers through Facebook, to a Kentucky boutique owner giving customers virtual glimpses of the newest fashions, to a manufacturer of mineral processing equipment seeking new markets, to workers learning to navigate the gig economy – all these and many others are finding opportunities that never could have existed without broadband. Because they are getting help from organizations dedicated to community planning and training, much of what they are doing is replicable. e United States has been called a land of second chances. Now it will have to be a land of second, third and fourth chances. Fortunately, Americans have a long history of ingenuity and resourcefulness. We'll need those qualities in the times ahead. v Working With Broadband For communities, the key to economic vitality isn't just getting broadband but also using it effectively.

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