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Broadband Economies

Creating the Community of the 21st Century

Broadband Economies: Creating the Community of the 21st Century is a book based on years of research by the Intelligent Community Forum into the best practices of Intelligent Communities in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.  Filled with creative strategies and success stories, Broadband Economies explains:

  • The powerful impact of leadership and local culture on a community's success
  • Strategies for developing municipal broadband networks when the private sector fails to do the job
  • Best practices for creating a "knowledge workforce" with the skills needed to create local prosperity
  • How leading communities pursue digital inclusion to ensure that the benefits of technology reach all of their citizens and businesses
  • How government and business, working together, can foster innovation that drives economic growth
  • How broadband and information technology build social capital at the local level


From Broadband Economies

Geographic location and natural resources once determined a community's economic future.  But today, we live in the Broadband Economy a global economic engine powered by communications, whether it is fiber-optic cables stretching between continents, DSL connections in the home or mobile devices in our pockets.  Now, it is the skills of the labor force, and the ability of business and government to adapt and innovate, that power prosperity.    

The good news is that the Broadband Economy has also given communities powerful new tools to build local prosperity, inclusion and a sustainable future.  Today, low-cost broadband and information technology are creating new kinds of businesses and entire new industries.  They enable companies to be global exporters including the export of skills, knowledge and culture which were never portable before.  They can ensure that schools in remote regions and inner cities have access to the latest information tools.  They link rural healthcare providers to leading medical centers and local law enforcement to national information grids.  Individuals and local businesses can go global in search of low-cost, quality vendors, and Web-based tools can increase community involvement.  By boosting the economic and social well-being of communities, broadband and IT can reduce the incentives for their young people to move away in search of opportunity and a better quality of life but only if communities know how to put them to effective use.

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Management professor Mel Horwitch interviews co-author Robert Bell


"There are many who talk about tech-revolution, but it's a rare revolutionary who writes with an almost poetic sensibility and stays grounded in the real world.  ICF has become the 'go-to' organization for anyone interested in the transformation of communities.  Broadband Economies is much more than a manifesto and a handbook-for-action all rolled into one; it's a master-blueprint that lays out what we need for our communities."

Gordon Feller, CEO,
Urban Age Institute

"The work Cisco is bringing forward in the area of Broadband Government, of which Connected Urban Development is an important element, is modeled in part on ideas first introduced by the Intelligent Community Forum.  I consider the work they do outstanding and world-class."

Nicola Villa, Global Director, Connected Urban Development,
Cisco Systems

 

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