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 52 of 134

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT development. Homes are where startups start! Tat's where schoolchildren are. Businesses, government and nonprofts must all work together to encourage broadband access and use. A city's decision isn't just to "buy or build" anymore – it's to beg, borrow, buy, build, boss, boost or ban. Cities can encourage or even require that certain activities be conducted online. A city can ofer its resources to gather data about applications. Imagine an application developer who says, "My app works 10 times better in a gigabit city." Mark Ansboury, Gigabit Squared: Cities have all the requirements for gigabit networks. Tey have the mass audiences, the assets they've already invested in, the goals of providing quality of life and jobs for their citizens. All they need to do is leverage their assets. In some cities, major employers with visions for their community are realizing it's up to them. In one community we work with, local businesses are planning to fund, though not to operate, a network. Lydia Murray, Cook County Bureau of Technology: Te question isn't whether we'll be a gigabit community but when and how. Certainty about permitting and partnering is huge – and in a county with many municipalities, coordinating this can be difcult. Cook County has a good GIS system, and we're giving it to municipalities in return for their data. Focusing on Economic Development Helps Broadband Projects Succeed Networks that are expected to contribute to the local economy can make a better case for getting funding, panelists agreed. Sharon Stroh, Indiana Metropolitan Area Network: Our most pressing issue was manufacturing decline. We did presentations in all the towns, inviting local ofcials, businesses and anchor insitutions so we could educate people about broadband and what it could do. We responded to their concerns and operated with accountability and transparency, letting everyone know what we were doing. Ten we held discussions with the regional economic development folks. We invited the press and incorporated them into the discussion so we could keep the public informed. When people voiced opposition, we invited them for private conversations afterward. Most objections concerned the cost of the network, but we were able to implement it gradually and in phases. CHICAGO SHOULD BE THE NEXT SEOUL Katherine Yager, City of Chicago: Chicago issued an RFI for broadband access in the business district and underserved areas as well as for free wireless service. We're exploring partnerships with service providers. In fve years, we want Chicago to be the Seoul of the United States. We want to grow the technology sector and entrepreneurship. We can't wire the whole city yet, but this targeted approach gives us a good foundation. By partnering with libraries for digital workforce development, we are seeing an 18 percent increase in wages and salaries. Continued on page 79 46 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

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