Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2014

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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46 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2014 SUMMIT COVERAGE T oday, I am pleased to address the topic of broadband, economic development and global competitiveness. Tis is an incredibly important issue for the Commerce Department, and it is something we have been working on tirelessly since the passage of the Recovery Act in early 2009. Over the past six months, we have attacked the challenge with renewed vigor under the leadership of our new Commerce secretary, Penny Pritzker, who has a laser-like focus on promoting the digital economy. In November, Secretary Pritzker launched our Open for Business agenda. Tat was followed just last month with the release of a strategic plan that, among other things, promotes pro-growth, pro- innovation policies that strengthen the digital economy. At Commerce, we understand that high-speed Internet access is a necessary engine for economic development and global competitiveness. Te Internet accounts for 21 percent of GDP growth in advanced economies and facilitates $8 trillion each year in e-commerce. Broadband expansion equals economic development. A BEFORE AND AFTER BROADBAND SUCCESS STORY Investing in broadband is investing in your community's economic future. Let me give you just one example. Five years ago, local ofcials in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in North Georgia were worried about what the future might bring in light of the economic crisis the country faced at the time, as well as the broader, long-term decline of the industrial economy. So when the BTOP program was announced in 2009, local leaders including Bruce Abraham brought together the local college, economic development agencies and Open for Business In the Global Economy BTOP project successes show that broadband fuels the U.S. economy – but the job of wiring the country is far from fnished. By Anthony Wilhelm / NTIA Anthony Wilhelm electric cooperatives to apply for funds to build the North Georgia Network (NGN). And in December 2009, Bruce was the frst grant recipient I personally called to tell him that they had received a grant to build the fber optic network. Later that month, Vice President Biden paid a visit to Dawsonville, Ga., to announce that BTOP award along with a handful of others. Dawsonville is a tiny rural town nestled in the Appalachian foothills. It is BBC_May14.indd 46 5/29/14 9:17 AM

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