National Survey Report – Broadband’s Impact on Economic Development: The Real Deal

Every two years, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and I team up to survey economic development professionals and others nationwide to learn how broadband is impacting economic development efforts. This year, 301 individuals participated, and their feedback has been particularly revealing (Read the full report here).

The 2010 survey is “The Real Deal” as it digs beneath the hype surrounding broadband’s potential to influence local economies, and extracts data from those who deal with these issues daily. We also present for the first time the comments respondents offered to help implement broadband projects that produce economic development results. And on October 13 (2:00 p.m. EDT), I’m conducting a Webinar to give you steps for moving forward with a strategy after you’ve read the survey report.

Respondents’ peers as well as government policy makers need to read and heed both the data and the comments. Several results of the survey argue sharply against directions that some government agencies, politicians and private industries appear to be leading us.

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RUS in a Post-Broadband Stimulus World

Rural Utilities Services (RUS) Administrator Jonathan Adelstein and I have had a couple of opportunities to chat at events where one or both of us delivered presentations. Since we’ve had some interesting exchanges I decided to go for a formal Q & A with the one of the three central figures in the broadband stimulus program (NTIA’s Larry Strickling and the FCC’s Julius Genechowski being the other two).

My big interest is in what’s next on the agenda for RUS once they wrap up their part in the program. Many of those rural communities not fortunate enough to get a piece of the stimulus still plan to push forward for broadband in their respective areas, so it’s important for them to understand that RUS’ role doesn’t end September 30.

Administrator Adelstein’s comments are followed by my short assessment. This adds a coda to my recent analysis of RUS’s first group of Round 2 stimulus grants.

As a bonus to my loyal readers, I tossed in at the end here an interesting tidbit for some of you sports fans. The actual first time Administrator Adelstein and I shared a public venue was almost three decades ago and totally unrelated to technology.

Check back tomorrow for a re-cap of my recent meeting at the FCC. If I’m not careful, D.C. is going to become a second home.

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“What’s Next After Broadband Stimulus?” and Other Valuable Webinars

A couple of weeks ago I made a swing through D.C. to meet with some folks and continue building support for Communities United for Broadband. I also delivered “What’s Next After Broadband Stimulus?” at the New America Foundation. You can watch the presentation here.

This session helps you understand a little better what local communities’ role in national broadband strategy should be. The event included a strong panel representing community perspectives via people from cities that are making broadband happen:

  • Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer of the District of Columbia,
  • Joanne Hovis, President-Elect of NATOA and President of Columbia Telecommunications Corporation
  • Gary Carter, Analyst at City of Santa Monica Information Systems Department will respond to Mr. Settles’ presentation.

I highlight key lessons from my book, Fighting the Next Good Fight: Bringing True Broadband to Your Community, in the context of national policy discussions on broadband. Actually, some days the discussion is more like a barroom brawl from the old westerns, with local communities cast as the damsel in distress whose fate depends on the outcome of these guys duking it out. No speaking role of note, just the prize for whoever wins.

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