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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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | www.broadbandcommunities.com | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 23 farmers – to use their own "produce aisles" of this online grocery and to upload photographs and descriptions of their goods for universal display on the internet. Before long, chefs, neighborhood buying clubs and value- added produce resellers were using their credit cards to purchase absolutely fresh produce before it was even picked. Often, city folk were eating food that had been part of a plant in a farmer's field six hours earlier. Keeping up with the times, the website evolved into Farmzie, a free app available on iTunes. INVOLVING COMMUNITY ANCHOR INSTITUTIONS Insurance companies already pay for selected medical procedures performed using telemedicine devices over the internet. Manufacturers are responding with internet-enabled monitoring devices. Hospitals now have an interest in migrating their patients from office visits to internet-based monitoring in homes. at gives them a reason to advocate for universal broadband coverage in their market area and to add internet literacy to their list of health-related instructional programs. High schools and community colleges must prepare students for the new economy by exposing them to the concepts of new media and website development, networking, application support, web hosting and cloud-based business. Students will need these concepts in any new job or business, and some will be needed specifically to work in technical support roles. Broadband is a commodity. In most cities, consumers have several competing providers of that commodity. Underserved communities must learn that they, like their rural electric co-op counterparts, can leverage their aggregated political and economic power to acquire and use broadband. Communities must learn to use what they have to get what they want. Negotiation, not supplication. v Tim Will is a principal in Catalpa Partners, based in Asheville, North Carolina, and the former executive director of the Foothills Connect Business and Technology Center, a nationally acclaimed rural economic development program awarded the Purpose Prize and HP's Hackborn Award for the use of technology in social innovation. Contact Tim at twill1948@gmail.com. A SOCIAL BROADBAND CHECKLIST PROJECT ELEMENT DESCRIPTION PURPOSE COST Community broadband committee A small group of community leaders to investigate items below Liaison with interests outside the community Minimal High-speed broadband connection The goal: 25 Mbps download 4 Mbps upload Serving the underserved at FCC and North Carolina state standards Priceless 24/7 Wi-Fi hotspots Minimum 6 Mbps download 4 Mbps upload Serving the unserved at enabled community centers, fire stations, libraries, downtown businesses > $500 per location Community-based technology training centers 10 networked public PCs with open-source software and unlimited internet access Enabling training at libraries, community colleges, high schools, community centers, churches, hospitals $500 to $1,000 per site Community development Outreach to organized community groups Providing technical education, Wi-Fi hot spots, grants Minimal Smartphone/internet navigation literacy programs Volunteers from community colleges, high schools, hospitals Training those who have only cellular service available for internet access Minimal Internet application instruction Volunteers from community colleges, high schools, hospitals Providing inexpensive, teacher-led class instruction in workplace applications Minimal Website design instruction One-on-one volunteers from community colleges Creating small businesses, developing needed skills Minimal tuition costs for certificate program Entrepreneurship program REAL, high schools, community college, SCORE Promoting home-based/small business, increasing rural demand for broadband Minimal tuition costs for certificate program Internet technical support hotline Volunteers from community colleges, high schools, hospitals Meeting high school community service requirement Minimal Reading literacy programs Volunteers from community colleges, high schools, hospitals Allowing more residents to use the internet effectively Minimal Political liaisons County, school, municipal officials Reducing regulatory impediments to WISPs, providing grant funding, allowing use of public assets as broadband infrastructure Minimal Technology outreach Regional tech companies invited to semiannual technology exposition Involving and highlighting community tech businesses Expenses paid by tech companies

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