Broadband Communities

JUL 2015

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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84 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JULY 2015 BROADBAND APPS Distributed Work Centers Broadband is more than just Internet access. To take full advantage of broadband's benefts, communities must broaden their broadband horizons. By Michael B. Shear / Strategic Ofce Networks T he greatest opportunity to create competitive, sustainable communities lies in understanding how to adapt to the revolution and character of information technologies rather than merely applying these technologies to the current ways of doing things. Te creation of the Internet is, without question, one of the most powerful constructs of broadband and Internet technologies. However, one negative consequence of the Internet's rapid growth and adoption is that it obscures other potentially innovative ways to assemble and apply its pieces. In other words, people can't see the broadband for the Internet. Addressing critical community needs with broadband requires two essential changes in the way people think and behave. Tey must • Understand the ability of broadband technologies to distribute information and the benefts of identifying aggregate community and regional requirements to attain economic efciencies • Tink about broadband technologies beyond Internet connectivity and consider focused applications of, and adaptations to, their unique distribution character. BROADBAND PLANNING FROM THE COMMUNITY OUT To be viable in today's economy, every community requires a core set of elements to a greater or lesser degree. Jobs and access to jobs: To grow, communities have long relied on one approach – attracting jobs by attracting employers one at a time. Tis approach pits neighboring communities against one another; in addition, relying on one or several major employers is often devastating when the employer moves, is acquired or goes out of business. As jobs move, so do people. Moreover, for many households, fnding, fnancing, owning and selling homes has become more problematic. People make decisions about where to live by balancing the cost and afordability of a home against the desirability of its community and its proximity to job opportunities. Education: Access to quality, afordable education at all levels has become more fundamental to the economy and society. Education no longer stops after graduation from high school or even from college; rather, lifelong education is needed to sustain and grow a career. Academic and technical schools can stimulate economic growth. Well-planned community networks permit widespread deployment of distance learning centers that provide access to advanced technology tools. Medical services: Te need for medical services is growing as the population ages. Timely access to quality medical services will greatly enhance quality of life through telemedicine and networks of remote clinics. Government and public services: As community revenues fall, leaders seek cost- efective approaches to inform the public and respond to its needs. Telecommunications

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