Kicking off my two-day broadband site visit in Chattanooga to experience EPB’s (the public utility) community broadband network.
This promises to be a pretty eye-opening experience, even for the guy who wrote the book on community broadband. You can hear about it, read about it, debate about it. But I’ve found that until you’ve spent time in a community that has broadband, particularly highspeed fiber, you don’t get the true feel of its impact.
You have to meet the people and witness the organizations using broadband to transform their communities and institutions. It’s a powerful experience talking to community leaders and just plain folks to understand the change from the days when they couldn’t get incumbents to deploy the kind of broadband that would give businesses a leg up. Or open the doors of opportunity for young people desperately wanting to be part of the new digital world order.
If your community is contemplating a broadband network, or are taking the first serious steps forward, you have to make one of these site visits. It will give you a major leg up getting your efforts off the ground. Communities such as Chattanooga, one of the over 130 cities and counties that are getting broadband done, have an incredible amount of knowledge, insight and experience to share.