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In community broadband planning, you can't always get what you want. But if you are flexible sometimes, you just might find you get what you need. With apologies to the Rolling Stones, this pretty much sums up recent events in Sibley County, MN. Winthrop, MN city administrator Mark Erickson provides some insights on Sibley's roller coaster ride to broadband, and how to keep stakeholders focused so they can quickly transform challenges into new and better opportunities. Originally, Sibl
Communities may be leaving an awful lot of money on the table for funding broadband because they're not going to the most logical money source on the planet - the bank. Stearns Brothers & Co Senior VP Aaron Gadouas explains that approaching banks and other tradition financial institutions is a viable option that more communities should explore.
Critiquing the nine business models presented in Craig Settles' Building the Gigabit City (Chapter 5), Gadouas lays out tactics for preparing your community to take it to the bank and get financing:
* securing credible memoranda of understanding
* pre-selling network service subscriptions
* leveraging support from local banks and credit unions
* avoiding obvious and not so obvious pitfalls
Mr. Gadouas, with 15 years experience in corporate finance and new product development, is widely recognized for his track record of innovation that includes creating a public-private financing program for healthcare organizations. At a recent Kansas City conference, he presented government and private sector organizations with a game plan for financing broadband infrastructure.
Blacksburg, VA raised $91,000 to build a 1 gig network downtown using crowdfunding (bit.ly/ZVsVIz). A Kansas City neighborhood crowdfunded a wireless network buildout. Have we found the key to unlocking a big increase in broadband networks?
As interest in this tactic builds, two community broadband veterans are rolling out a Web tool to crowdfund, aggregate demand and coordinate stakeholders. The design of this service reflects a belief that funding is just one of the challenges communities must address.
Crowdfiber co-founders Greg Richardson and Bailey White advocate an integrated approach to broadband deployment that builds a pre-launch subscriber base while simultaneously raising money to fund the network. In addition, communities must be adept at organizing and project management.
Listeners come away from this interview with a better understanding of:
* crowdfunding best practices; * using the Google “fiberhoods” tactic to map demand; and * organizing stakeholders (a.k.a. herding cats).
"It is important for cities to realize that this [broadband] is the way forward and, if used correctly, it can have a lasting impact on their economic, environmental and special development," says Julia Pulidindi, National League of Cities Senior Associate in their City Solutions and Applied Research Department.
Pulidindi joins Gigabit Nation to present steps that communities should take to get constituents on the same page and moving forward to getting better broadband. She highlights creative ideas that have enabled communities to build highspeed Internet infrastructure, and drive various constituents to use the networks.
Pulidindi gives listeners insights to the type of national broadband policy issues that the NLC is advocating for in D.C., and invites comments from the audience on these issues. NLC also has state affiliates, we explore how these provide cities and towns with valuable access to information and communication channels that can help local broadband efforts.
This session helps state officials and project teams involved with broadband more effectively capture and manage broadband mapping data. Equally important, we explore how the apparatus for gathering coverage and availability data can be put to greater use for economic development and other useful policymaking.
Angela Bailey, Director of NC Broadband, a division of the North Carolina Dept of Commerce, and Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian and Montana GIS Coordinator Stu Kirkpatrick discuss lessons learned from their respective states’ mapping projects. They also explain how they turned this, combined with other state data, into policies and action.
As we come to grips with the fact that stimulus money for mapping runs out in 2014, and some begin taking appropriate action, it is important that other states quickly follow suite. Our
63% of participants in a national survey have seen communities use broadband to harness home-based businesses into a economic engine, or believe strongly that communities can do this. Gigabit Nation goes to Kansas City to spotlight this dynamic at work.
Kansas City Startup Village (KCSV) participants give listeners first-hand details on how a booming entrepreneurial movement has taken root and is expanding thanks to Google Fiber. They offer valuable lessons to other communities that want to do likewise. Today's guests are:
* Adam Arredondo and Matthew Marcus, co-founders of Local Ruckus and KCSV Co-Leaders;
* Mike Demarais, Co-Founder, Handprint
* Ben Barreth, founder of the Homes for Hackers program
* Brittain Kovac, staff member of startup Leap2 and Event Manager for KCSV; and
* Jonny Kot, community leader and founder of Tech-Pointer.
Our guests have complementary and contrasting viewpoints on:
* the role of Google Fiber in driving entrepreneurship in Kansas City
* how communities can encourage and support startups
* sustaining and expanding entrepreneur support programs.
Listeners can download a copy of the survey analysis report that addresses the increase of home-based businesses and other economic outcomes broadband influences.
In March this year, in partnership with Broadband Communities Magazine, host Craig Settles conducted a survey of local government administrators and staff, service providers, consultants and others involved with broadband projects. What they have to say in Craig Settles' report, The Gigabit city & Economic Development, could directly influence your community’s efforts.
Magazine Editor Masha Zager joins us to analyze what survey results mean to your community. 60% of respondents say fiber networks attract business, 54% say it increases home-based businesses. Nearly half feel 20 – 120 Mbps is minimum needed to impact certain economic outcomes. Only 7% see “searching for a job” as the greatest benefit broadband offers individuals.
The survey explored broadband’s impact on six local economic outcomes in particular: attracting new businesses to town reviving depressed communitiesm making local companies more successful improving individuals’ income-earning potential increasing home-based businesses improving depressed business districts The survey also looks at the potential for broadband-enabled telemedicine to impact economic development, and probed how respondents view certain national broadband policies. We solicited feedback on possible broadband funding models. If economic development is important to you, listen to this show.
How does your community get out from under the thumb of large incumbents responsible only to Wall Street and win better broadband? By becoming independent of these anti-market forces and building a true community network. Frank Ohrtman, former manager in the Colorado Office of Information Technology, explains how his regional co-op unites the efforts of 40 of the state's 64 counties. They are achieving independence by planning, funding, building and operating local broadband networks.
The Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB) Annual Conference has become a yearly confab that draws many of the key players in broadband stimulus-funded projects. Our listeners hear from four of those who give us highlights of how far we've come since these projects launched:
2:00 Maria Alvarez Stroud - Director, Center for Community Technology Services, University of Wisconsin - Extension 2:15 Kevin Hughes - VP Sales & Marketing, Virgin Islands Next Generation Network 2:30 Tara Thue - Manager, Utah Broadband Project 2:45 Jane Patterson - President, Rural Telecom Congress America We get some of the inside details on several high-profile broadband deployment and adoption initiatives made possible by NTIA and RUS grant awards. Our guests discuss what they have found to be effective making better broadband and adoption a reality. They also talk about what's next for their projects.
Though it requires dedicated effort to track and report on the economic impact of community broadband networks, there are plenty of ways in which these networks directly and indirectly produce economic benefits for constituents. Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) in Iowa has been providing broadband services since 1996, and shares with listeners some great insights to using the technology as an economic engine. CFU’s Internet services impacts their local economy in several ways, in
Practically everyone involved with broadband projects is aware of those constituents who, for various reasons, don’t or won’t use broadband technology. Though it may be tempting to write them off, the public good is best served by closing the digital divide. But can we get there from here? Research holds the answer. MoBroadbandNow is Missouri’s statewide initiative to expand and enhance broadband accessibility and adoption. The organization has conducted extensive research to
The Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC) is gearing up for its 37th Annual Gala, which will honor Hispanic women in business on June 21 in Washington, DC.
The Strategy Sessions welcomes Angela Franco, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Gabriela Mossi, Director of Programs and Resource Development, at the GWHCC Foundation.
They will talk about the upcoming Gala, programming the organization hosts and supports to help entrepreneurs, and how the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is maximizing its partnerships to meet the needs of the city's businesses.
Have a question for our guests? Call (347) 539-5143, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tweet us @KesiStribling.
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