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Navigating Local BroadbandWhy it’s worth it for your community! Tanesha Hixon,Office of Technology Partnerships Michigan Department of Information Technology
Can you Imagine… Your community without highways, expressways or even electricity?..... The introduction of these new inventions changed everything. It’s now easy to see the positive impact of them, but at the time people were weary and thought these inventions were strange and unnecessary. Broadband can have the same impact on your community as these now necessities. The need for broadband is real.
Broadband for your communityis not only possible…it’s critical Broadband is helping communities of all sizes and needs: • Promote Economic Development • Better Education • Improve Government • Increase Tourism • Enhance Healthcare • Equip First Responders How are others navigating this road?
Benefits of Broadband:Economic development Princeton, IL (Pop. 8,000) learned their lesson the hard way… • Due to the lack of broadband services, their largest employer left town, taking 450 jobs • Due to the installation of broadband, the second largest employer decided to stay! Why are businesses demanding broadband?
Broadband makes business cents! A recent survey of remote and rural broadband networks in British Columbia found: • 62% attribute increased productivity to broadband; most saw at least a 10% rise • 80% believe that not having broadband would negatively impact their business • 18% believe they could not operate their business without it!
Up with efficiency …down with business costs • Broadband provides a new way to cut costs, win new business and compete globally • Connectivity is also reported to increase revenue Efficiency It also makes sense for education…
Benefits of Broadband:Better education We could learn a few things from rural Pickens County, GA (Pops. <3,500)… • None of the county’s schools had the resources to hire a foreign language teacher. After installing broadband that connected their four schools they were able to hire one teacher to teach for all four schools at the same time using full motion video equipment • Saved $140,000/year after all expenses for the equipment!!
Improve government:…Reduce costs! • Increase efficiency and cost effectiveness • Faster, better quality service for less!! • Make government services readily available and enable resident self – service; reducing administrative costs! • Residents can: • Have 24x7 access to services and information • Handle affairs on their own time! – No more taking off work to stand in line… • Pickens County, GA also:Added broadband in their county courthouse and jail for additional cost savings through: video arraignment and telemedicine!!
More employees for businesses More jobs for residents Communities in ME and KY are already benefiting from broadband and telecommuting: • In 12 months, a small company in Maine has grown from a small office of four employees to a national network of over 50 workers that work from their homes using broadband • In 18 months, Kentucky’s partial broadband services deployment has added 25,300 new jobs; full-scale deployment is projected to add more than $5 million to the Gross State Product
Benefits of Broadband:Promoting Tourism Broadband connectivity is becoming a necessity to the hospitality industry… • More than 40% of business travelers—80% of extended stay guests—want access to broadband • Internet access in coffee shops, hotels and airports is becoming an expected amenity
The ‘tourist trap’ of the 21st Century! Broadband was a worthy tourism investment for Stevenson, WA (Pop. 1,300)… • Known for logging, world-class fishing and salmon runs, Stevenson used tourism funds to invest in WiFi • Launched in Oct. 2003, the network blankets the downtown, Fair Grounds and adjoining recreation area • Guests may log in for an hour at a time, but first go through a “Welcome to Stevenson” page, with city amenities and services promotions • Local businesses have noticed an increase in the length of overnight stays and in business overall
Benefits of Broadband:Enhancing healthcare & reducing costs Broadband-enabled telemedicine is improving the quality of care and reducing cost, time and travel: • Rural hospitals can treat patients with consultation from external specialists • Small health care clinics can work with larger facilities to process test and lab results faster • Patients do not need to travel great distances to access to Doctors, whocan now make a diagnosis remotely
Broadband is providing life-saving data and communication access to police and firefighters… Broadband-based voice and datacommunication improves response time and costs less It is also much more reliable… Benefits of Broadband:Equipping first responders Hurricane Katrina taught us the value of broadband:During and after the storm, 38 Public Safety Answering Points failed, thousands were without access to emergency operators…Hardier IP networks would have prevented this! So, have you heard enough?
Ready for Action?Bringing Broadband to your community Next Steps: • Check with neighboring communities with broadband for help and lessons learned • Learn from other Michigan communities: • Washtenaw County • Oakland County • City of Grand Rapids • Genesee County • Obtain MDIT’s “Broadband in Action Plan” We can help…
Contacts & Questions MDIT Office of Technology Partnerships • George Boersma, Directorboersmag@michigan.gov(517) 335-1507 • Tanesha Hixonhixont@michigan.gov(517)373-9502