From an economic development perspective, access to broadband and broadband-centric technologies are vital pieces of the puzzle. The modern world is inextricably tied to information and communication technologies and consequently broadband-based solutions. As someone with experience around the development of infrastructure and the transformative role that affordable broadband can have within a community, I believe there are two primary problems that need to be solved. The first being a lack of competition among service providers and secondly, literacy which for me also goes toward social inclusion.
My experience also suggests that solutions around access to affordable broadband are not necessarily tied to technology issues – engineers and scientists have largely solved the majority of technology-based concerns. The largest impediments to affordable broadband access are business issues. The analogy that I use to illustrate the problem is that of an airport. It would seem silly to require each airline to build their own airport before they were allowed to provide service to any customers, but that is exactly what we do within the world of telecommunications. The business solution involves separating access from services – one airport that all the service providers can use. The result would be competition – service providers would be able to move to a variable cost basis; they would not need to address steep capital expenditures associated with a network and most importantly, consumers would have choice and lower prices.
Secondly, literacy around new and innovative ways to communicate with the world and ways to harness the power afforded by broadband is the other piece. Until a population/ group/ company/ etc. realizes what they can do with broadband-based solutions they are not able to fully participate in the global economy or connect socially or have access to knowledge. Their evolution, their work, their progress, their future are stunted. The opposite of this inability to participate is social inclusion.
Here in Middlebury, Vermont we are working on solving these issues and making our really good place a really great place. If you are interested in having your business, your family and your future in a really great place, contact us.