Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2013

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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Page 20 of 134

EDITOR'S NOTE It Isn't Magic CEO & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Scott DeGarmo / Fiber networks – even gigabit networks – don't magically generate economic growth. Communities must draw the connection. PUBLISHER Nancy McCain / CORPOR ATE EDITOR, BBP LLC Steven S. Ross / EDITOR Masha Zager / ADVERTISING SALES ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Irene Prescott / ONLINE NEWS EDITOR Marianne Cotter / DESIGN & PRODUCTION Karry Thomas CONTRIBUTORS Joe Bousquin David Daugherty, Korcett Holdings Inc. Joan Engebretson Richard Holtz, InfiniSys W. James MacNaughton, Esq. Henry Pye, RealPage Bryan Rader, Bandwidth Consulting LLC Robert L. Vogelsang, Broadband Communities Magazine BROADBAND PROPERTIES LLC CEO Scott DeGarmo VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS & OPERATIONS Nancy McCain CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Robert L. Vogelsang VICE CHAIRMEN The Hon. Hilda Gay Legg Kyle Hollifield BUSINESS & EDITORIAL OFFICE BROADBAND PROPERTIES LLC 1909 Avenue G • Rosenberg, Tx 77471 281.342.9655 • Fax 281.342.1158 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 © 2013 Broadband Properties LLC. All rights reserved. 14 F or the 10th consecutive year, BroadBand Communities devotes the year's fnal issue to the relationship between broadband and economic development. A decade ago, broadband's efect on economic development was still speculative. Today, multiple studies all over the world have confrmed that more broadband can lead to more jobs, higher income and more business success. A new "Giganomics" model introduced by David Sandel at BroadBand Communities' recent economic development conference confrms that, under the right conditions, superfast broadband can yield super results. Best of all, bandwidth-fueled economic development isn't a zero-sum game. Communities don't have to steal jobs from one another – they all beneft as individuals and businesses become more productive and creative. However, economic development doesn't happen by itself. We have all heard of fber networks that fzzled and failed to produce the desired results. Perhaps their operators ofered me-too products at me-too prices or didn't communicate the networks' benefts well enough. Or perhaps their communities' overall economic development climates were so poor that even great networks couldn't make up the diference. As Sandel states, "Economic impact is not guaranteed. Intentional focus is necessary to achieve these results." UTILIZATION IS NEEDED What should be (but isn't always) selfevident is that for networks to afect local economies, they must be well utilized. When broadband frst became available, consumers, businesses and application developers seized upon it gleefully, freed from the constraints of dial-up Internet. | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | Today, however, increasing broadband utilization isn't so easy, especially on high-bandwidth networks. Most individuals and businesses that don't use – or barely use – broadband today have fnancial, educational or other hurdles that must be addressed. And because today's new productivityboosting applications are less obvious than email and e-commerce were a dozen years ago, even expert broadband users may miss opportunities to beneft. Tat's why this issue includes several articles about educating individuals to use broadband for personal productivity and skills development and educating businesses to become more proftable through broadband. Tese programs help participants, and they also help network operators, communities and local economies. Developing technology skills isn't the most common approach to promoting economic development, but it's a valid and time-tested one. (It's also less expensive and more efective than ofering tax incentives.) Tis issue also reports on a variety of other broadband-related strategies that cities are using, such as promoting dialog and collaboration across economic sectors, funding business incubators and encouraging startups in other ways, aggregating demand, and identifying community assets that are valuable to broadband operators. To quote Sandel again, "Building a successful gigabit city is 90 percent sociology and 10 percent infrastructure." Tose who hope to succeed at a gigabit transformation must be conversant with both. v | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

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