Two weeks ago I decided to pull the trigger. There are lots of communities planning to build, looking for money to build, or already building broadband networks. These folks often have more questions than answers. So why not bring people who have experience in the trenches directly to those in need of answers?
That’s when Gigabit Nation, Broadband talk radio™ was born (www.blogtalkradio.com/gigabitnation).
Gigabit Nation’s mission is threefold: 1) inform listeners how to get meaningful broadband into communities everywhere, 2) help communities increase broadband adoption and 3) provide a vehicle for people to work together – and with organizations – to get broadband done.
We’re bringing community and industry stakeholders on the twice-weekly (2:00 EST) show to share their stories. People from the public, private and nonprofit sectors who have helped make broadband possible, or are working on new broadband projects. But why stop at talk radio?
With the power of the Internet, I also can structure Gigabit Nation to give you digital tools for networking, collaborating and implementing successful networks. Alright then, let’s do that. Let’s re-define audience participation.
This isn’t your father’s talk radio. You can e-mail questions for guests before, during or after the show. Live chat will be happening while I’m interviewing guests. I hope to bring several people from guests’ respective organizations online so everyone’s engaged based on different areas of interest and need.
We’re pulling out all the stops on social networks. A Facebook page for general communication, updating and motivating people to take action. A LinkedIn group for professional networking and discussions that reinforce what we learn from my radio guests. Twitter tweets? You bet. This blog of course is in the mix, and eventually we’ll roll in Google + (how can we not). BlogTalkRadio, the service that makes Gigabit Nation possible and viable, has a few social networking features of it’s own.
Chattanooga leads off
2:00 EST this Wednesday (7/27) officially kicks off this exciting program with a detailed look at Chattanooga, TN’s 600-square mile gigabit network. James Ingram, Manager of Strategic Planning for EPB, which is Chattanooga’s public utility and network operator, has riveting stories and good advice from the trenches.
Check out the many guests we have lined up for the show in just the first month. Broadband stimulus winners Howard County, MD and Cape Cod, MA will join us in the studio. Powell, WY, a small town with a big broadband dream, describes how they made their dream a reality. Hiawatha Broadband Communications, one of our first sponsors, provides private sector perspectives and company president Gary Evans’ Top 10 list on how to make public private partnerships succeed for everyone.
You and I know this broadband stuff is pretty complex. But our guests are going to demystify some of this, using their communities’ experiences to offer valuable lessons.
Gigabit Nation is definitely a bold title for a talk show. The name throws down the gauntlet for a pretty big vision, yet I don’t expect to see a fiber cable hanging off every home in America. In many places, wireless definitely should be a supplement. In other communities, wireless may be the only option.
However, you who’ve read my work over the past couple of years know where I stand. If, in the next 3 – 5 years, we expect broadband to transform how we educate and train our current and future workforce. If we want to significantly change how healthcare and medical services are delivered. If we hope to see broadband contribute to reviving local economies. Then gigabit technology must be at the core of our strategy and our broadband infrastructure.
I believe completely in the value that broadband brings to communities if it is properly planned and deployed. I also believe there are challenges we must overcome to produce the benefits that broadband offers. These guests who share their successes and setbacks with Gigabit Nation listeners prove that challenges can be overcome, that stellar broadband can indeed become a reality.
Gigabit Nation is more than great guests with wonderful stories. It’s people coming together to learn, explore and hopefully push the boundaries to bring better broadband to more Americans. If you believe in the power of broadband to make a difference in your community: stop by, bring your neighbors, listen, ask questions, take action. Together, let’s get the job done.
See ya on Wednesday (www.blogtalkradio.com/gigabitnation).