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Many communities must understand that, without a well-crafted and executed creative marketing strategy, their broadband networks will have limited success. This is particularly true in states such as North Carolina that have a hostile political climate for public networks. Salisbury, NC has held their own for four years, but plans to turn on the marketing afterburners to accelerate their growth and impact on the community.
Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson and Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell present constituents and listeners with details on some of their marketing ideas. The city launched its Fibrant fiber network in 2010 and has steadily increased its subscriber base in the face of stiff incumbent opposition. They recently upgraded Fibrant to 1 gigabit per second service, which they expect will improve economic development, healthcare service delivery, education and government services.
City leaders see their marketing efforts moving forward on two fronts: 1) increasing marketing messages that educate various constituencies about the benefits of gigabit services, and 2) raising Salisbury's national profile as a forward-looking gig city that is a center of innovation. The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem describe several of Fibrant's past marketing successes, and provide other community broadband teams with advice on how to market effectively against well-financed adversaries.
As the endless stream of RFPs for community broadband feasibility studies widens, are these communities considering the intersect between broadband and cloud computing? It's important to have quality infrastructure that reaches all constituents, but it's equally important to build an infrastructure that supports applications that make the network financially sustainable. Learn how to create a role for cloud computing in your broadband planning.
Bernie Arnason, publisher and editor of Telecompetitor, keeps his finger on the pulse as he covers developments important to the broadband ecosystem through his analysis and commentary. Arnason is particularly focused on how network operators, including community broadband project teams, monetize the infrastructure while serving communities' needs.
Listeners get a solid grounding in how targeting local enterprises and small businesses with cloud computing services has a payback both in generating high-end, big dollar subscribers with low churn rates, and increasing the economic strength of community businesses. Arnason describes how to design the network buildout and subsequent marketing of cloud and other services to capture this low-hanging fruit. He also discusses the "Internet if things," which is an important element of cloud computing strategy.
Doctors of the USA welcomes William T. Abraham, MD, FACP, FACC, FAHA, FESC, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and a professor of internal medicine, physiology and cell biology at the Ohio State University Medical Center to talk about the first FDA approved wireless device with remote monitoring to measure pulmonary artery pressure in certain heart failure patients. Listen in as he shares about the safety and efficacy of the device and how it allows health care professionals to monitor the condition of their patients remotely.
Dr. William Abraham is the lead investigator for the CardioMEMS clinical trials and also serves as deputy director of Ohio State’s Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute. He has been recognized as one of the “Best Doctors in America” for eight consecutive years. Also in 2009 he was named inaugural designated Chair of Excellence in Cardiovascular Medicine at Ohio State’s College of Medicine. Dr. Abraham earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowships in cardiology and heart failure/cardiac transplantation at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Abraham is an internationally known researcher in heart failure. He has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American College of Cardiology and the Aetna Quality Care Foundation and has participated as principal investigator in more than 100 multicenter clinical drug and device trials.In addition to authoring more than 600 original papers, abstracts, book chapters and review articles, Dr. Abraham also co-edited Heart Failure: A Practical Approach to Treatment, a leading textbook on heart failure.
Check out the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center website.
Feetz don't fail me now! Chattanooga this week unveiled several awe-inspiring 3D applications that development teams created this summer on the city's gig network. As broadband champions get their brains wrapped around 3D printing and the technology's potential benefits, it's immediately clear why your broadband plan should include 3D printing apps. Two companies from Demo Day give you an eye-opening peek at the future.
This is is a 3D printing manufacturer and retailer that creates custom-fit footwear for consumers of all shoe sizes. Using patented algorithms and snapshots from the customer’s phone, Feetz integrates custom sizing measurements with individual design preferences to bring comfort, fit and style into each pair of hyper-customized shoes.
These folks have created a 3D printing manufacturer that provides contract medical devices for pre-surgical planning. Using patient-specific data, the company creates anatomical 3D models that enable surgeons to plan procedures before operating on patients.
As the many middle-mile networks built by federal broadband stimulus, state and some private-sector efforts light up, broadband is not magically appearing on residential and business doorsteps as some local broadband champions mistakenly expected to happen. There's a lot of finger pointing, wailing and gnashing of teeth in communities as they subsequently try to figure out how to move last-mile projects forward.
OneCommunity announced a $2 million Big Gig Challenge grant to help public and private entities build community fiber networks in the nonprofit's 2,000-mile, 11-county coverage area. Their middle-mile fiber network is dedicated to propelling northeastern Ohio to the forefront of broadband innovation.
Listeners who want to move the last-mile ball forward despite the challenges to finding money and other resources will learn much from OneCommunity's COO Brent Lindsay and Economic Development Manager Liz Forester. They discuss the grant program and offer recommendations for other entities that want to create similar programs to drive last-mile buildouts to connect with middle mile infrastructure. Money is important, but Lindsay and Forester also describe the types of programs that must be in place so communities can maximize grants and other funding.
As an increasing number of communities begin seriously exploring options for a community broadband network, it seems municipal bonds are once again being considered as a serious funding option. This year's survey of economic development pros reveals that just over half feel their communities could successfully launch a bond measure, or that their chances for success are 50/50.
Three factors lead to the success of issuing muni bonds to fund community broadband networks:
the political will
successful navigation of the legal processes
assembling the right financial resources
David Shaw, Chief of the Government & Utilities industry section of Kirton-McConkie law firm and Laura Lewis, Principal at municipal financial advisory firm Lewis, Young, Robertson & Burningham, Inc., walks listeners through these three criteria in layperson's language to help stakeholders navigate these tricky waters. Both have experience working with bond efforts for cities across the U.S.
Helping Iowa and Colorado communities better assess all of their funding options for network projects, including a bond strategy, is a main component of the special 5-week broadband strategy Webinar series led by Gigabit Nation host Craig Settles.
Confused by all the offers from the major cell phone providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.)?
Forget the offers. It's about COVERAGE!!
There’s a price war going on between the major carriers. Although price is a consideration in selecting a carrier, saving a few dollars should not be the major factor when signing a contract. Having an unlimited or discounted data or phone plan is useless if your service is poor.
In today's broadcast, Jim explains what you should know before selecting or switching providers.
Every time you read about some city or county announcing plans to build a highspeed Internet network, it is almost certain you will read that the broadband network is expected to improve the local economy by bringing more innovation and jobs to town. But is this a guaranteed conclusion? Is it enough just to get a gig to every business, or do communities need to wire every home as well? How much innovation is needed before you see new jobs? And how many jobs equal success?
To answer these and related questions, Intelligent Community Fourm (ICF) Co-Founder Robert Bell joins us to discuss what our realistic expectations should be when addressing this economic development trifecta. Bell just wrote "Brain Gain: How innovative cities create job growth in an age of disruption," which becomes available June 23.
ICF last week anointed Toronto, Canada the Intelligent Community of the Year after analyzing over 400 communities from around the world. Bell offers listeners a rich array of real-world examples of constituents harnessing the power and potential of broadband to transform their communities. It is hard to predict what innovation will look like exactly, as each community is different, but Bell explains how to set the stage so that a community facilitates innovation.
Community broadband success usually does not ride solely on one person's shoulders. However, there is a type of person who is critical to a network project's success - the broadband champion, that local person(s) who figuratively carries the flag and supports the project to friends, neighbors, colleagues and even strangers.
Mark Latham, City Manager for Highland, IL, recently finished overseeing a broadband stimulus-funded gig network project for his community of 10,000 citizens after 78% of voters approved a bond measure to move the project forward. He describes the best tactics for identifying, educating, motivating and managing the small band of champions who will become the often-unofficial public face of your broadband project.
Look at any successful project and a common thread is a band of vocal broadband champions. With the right preparation, these individuals are critical to generating initial network subscribers, building political support, influencing potential investors and attracting general public support.
Gigabit broadband is going to expand the digital divide in some areas, at least in the short term, because gigs go where the money is. Wireless enjoys some advantages in costs and quick deployment that make it a valuable digital inclusion tool for underserved communities today and a backup solution for tomorrow.
Tony Schloss, Director of Community Initiatives for the Red Hook Initiative in Brooklyn, NY, is using a wireless mesh network as a job creator and a tool for economic development. Nearly half of economic development pros in a recent survey believe broadband networks can be used to encourage individual entrepreneurship among underserved constituents. Schloss tells listeners how they can achieve these objectives in their communities.
Listeners get an overview of how to raise money and deploy wireless technology, mobilize people to organize and participate in digital programs, help develop basic applications, create community-centric content and keep operations going. Schloss also discusses some of Red Hook's successes working with youths and what steps communities can take to replicate these.
How do you know when a public or community broadband project presents a serious threat to telco and cable incumbent providers? The flood of lies, half-truths and outlandish distortion of relevant issues. The only cure for the dark clouds that opponents try to cast over public-owned networks is to shine the bright light of fact-checked truth over errant anti-muni network statements.
In Utah, a group of cities in the UTOPIA fiber project are evaluating a potential deal with infrastructure-building giant Macquarie that plans to build a strong pro-community network. Longmont, CO passed a second referendum measure last November that paved the way for the city to accelerate deployment of its muni-owned network. FreeUTOPIA Editor Jesse Harris and City of Longmont Asst. City Manager Sandi Seader dissect the most persistent of the mischaracterizations of community broadband.
Beginning with the charge that "all muni networks are failures, and working through such gems as "municipal networks will cause firefighters and police officers to lose their job" and "these networks are unfair competition" to giant telcos, Harris and Seader set the record straight. The discussion presents facts and details community broadband project teams need to hear so they can better assess their business model options, be prepared for the inevitable pushback they face from incumbents and astroturf groups.