Broadband Site Visit to Kansas City (KS & MO)

I’m off tonight to Kansas City (KS and MO, a two-fer deal) for one of my broadband site visits. In case you missed the write-ups, I had a blast on my visit to Chattanooga for two days as I got a glimpse into the future of broadband.

It’s impossible to see all the applications in play and on their drawing board, then continue advocating this notion that wireless will drive our broadband future. Wireless is a supporting technology, but it’s not the real deal. Fiber is our future.

This site visit to the Kansas Cities is a little different from Chattanooga. In Tennessee it was all about assessing the progress that city has made since introducing a gigabit service last September. Though there is definitely a lot of dreaming of things to come, Chattanooga lets you “touch” some accomplishments, let’s you see in real time how a community is transforming itself to embrace a 21st Century digital economy. It also vividly puts the lie to the incumbents’ claim that these networks are bad for business and doomed to failure.

In Kansas, I’m looking at two communities starting from Jump Street. Of course, they’re off to a stronger start than most because they are the recipients of Google’s gigabit city largess. An enviable position. Or is it? That’s part of my mission. To get a feel for how the cities and their stakeholders are positioning themselves to capitalize on all the hard work they did to rise up and prevail over 1,100 other cities for the Google gold.

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Intelligent Communities – An Overview

The Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) is a think tank that focuses on how to create prosperous local communities that can compete effectively in our broadband economy, which is to say, competing on a global basis. Each year ICF chooses seven communities that, based on a multi-faceted analysis, show themselves capable of being “playas” on the world stage. These are cities to watch and emulate over the next few years.

Today, one of the seven will be chosen Intelligent Community of the Year. With this honor comes bodacious bragging rights, but also, that community will be thrust into a leadership role as other communities study them to try to gain valuable knowledge and learn best practices.

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