Using Broadband to Spark Economic Development As the economy turns down, governments everywhere are searching for new ways to boost economic activity and increase their jurisdiction’s attractiveness for enterprises of all sizes. In this environment, broadband networks have gained new favor as an economic development tool. Indeed the deployment of such networks to rural areas has been singled out by President-elect Obama’s administration as one of the key parts of their economic stimulus program. But broadband networks have proven to be of as much if not more value at the local level as a method for revitalizing cities and improving service delivery.
Policy makers and elected officials are discovering once again the importance of placing the deployment of modern communication technologies at the center of their own economic initiatives. CTM is fortunate to have one of the nation’s most successful mayors, Graham Richard, join us to talk about his experiences in implementing this approach in his own city of Fort Wayne, Indiana for our next Speak and Spark lunch. Some of the issues that this Speak and Spark will discuss are: • How can a city “Go Green” with broadband? • What effect has being “wired and inspired” had on a city’s tax structure, crime rate and service delivery? • What is the benefit to K-12 education from a city’s nvestments in broadband technology? • Does high speed broadband deployment by a municipality improve its health care services for the uninsured?