is installing a gigabit network in selected cities in the U.S. to
change the way communities connect and use technology. What exactly does
As we in Philadelphia have been preparing our response, all we are sure of is that it that means SUPER
FAST connections between computers, people, and businesses!
We need to show Google that Philly will do more with gigabit than any
other city. That means we need to show off you and your ideas. How would
you use gigabit to change Philadelphia – and the world?
The biggest challenge for me and others with this opportunity is in boiling down the thousands of ideas (some hair-brained, some less so) into tangible, clear concepts that can be executed.
I absolutely love the discussion that is going on, am excited at the gauntlet thrown down by Philly Startup Leaders, which is not up to $10,000, am in awe of the speed of developers and evangelists driven by Indy Hall in activating the Gigabit Philly and happy that leaders like Allan Frank, Philadelphia CTO and Bill Greene, City Councilman are deeply involved in this effort.
While I have been fortunate to be a part of the overall discussions and response preparation, I will also be throwing an idea into the Philly Startup Leaders contest…I just need to hone my thoughts. Regardless of that, I do hope that this ultra high-speed can provide at least a basis for the following 3 ideas as they go right to the heart of community and economic development.
Gigabit bandwidth with a real-time shared content and
information environment would allow us to revolutionize the way that we
educated our children and young adults. By connecting and leveraging the
resources, lectures, images, discussions and documents of the public and
private sector including our libraries, corporate professionals, university
scholars and community leaders we can make them on-demand for the benefit of
our teachers and their students.
With more resources, more targeted areas of influence
for our children, we can keep them more engaged and excited about new lessons,
their immediate community and the broader world outside of the city so they are
the best prepared, most enlightened and most inspired to enter higher education
and the workforce.
With only very low % of Philadelphia students attending higher education and a drop-out rate near 50%, providing our teachers with additional resources and our students with greater exposure to real-world access points can have a tangible impact on those numbers. That means our students would graduate better prepared and more informed about the opportunities for them in the city and beyond.
Collaboration & Commerce
Every business, whether a Fortune 500 enterprise or
corner store, must make, market, sell and support products in order to
succeed. With Gigabit bandwidth, companies have the ability to reach more
customers for less cost and more transparency, but they can serve them with
more flexibility for the greatest satisfaction. That all leads to more
commerce and revenue, which attracts more businesses and encourages more
On the demand side, a technology base with gigabit
access allows companies that seek to be the most innovative and introduce the
best products to move to the area. That, in turn, both attracts the most
creative, entrepreneurial and active people to the area and encourages the
wealth of students in the rich university community to stay in Philadelphia
with creative and economic engagement in their hearts and minds.
The flow of information and content generates that
demand and supply benefit for a range of industries including, to name a few,
advertising, communications, technology, design, film, civic associations,
performing arts, medicine, green technologies and education. We can
increase the connection & collaboration between the creativity found in
arts and technology and the innovative thinking necessary in all aspects of
Most importantly, with a rich, ubiquitous bandwidth
utility for all to use, both small startups and large enterprises can
contribute to the wide wealth of innovation to drive Digital Philadelphia
3. Combining Public Service and Customer
The most important asset that Gigabit bandwidth
provides is Communication. With instantaneous communication across web and
mobile devices, citizens of Philadelphia can interact well beyond their
geographic boundaries and truly work with each other to solve the most pressing
issues and challenges of their neighborhoods and greater city community.
level of interaction and communication includes the City administration itself,
who can truly become partners in real-time with the multitude of passionate
citizens and organizations that support the city.
With open, real-time access to information, data and
content in a shared environment that gigabit access supports, the relationship
between the city leaders and the citizens can advance to a rich new
level. The government would not need to solve all problems, but could be
a guide and leader in the creation and support of a collaborative service
environment where the citizens can create the solutions best suited to their
community and their economic desires.
The role of technology is critical
in supporting public service and translating that output to the customer
service that is so critical to a successful city. For example, it:
Reduces the separation between leaders &
Allows us to do much more for much less
Allows more people to directly input and
positively affect a greater number of people
Provides social applications, digital media and
communication tools that are often free and continuously updated and improved
for the community
Because creativity moves fastest
within pockets and through communities, then outward; a collaborative
supported by instantaneous communication and content sharing allows the
of action to match the speed of ideas. Sharing that energy and action
then push innovation and implementation to be as fast as the community
to be, with the entire City standing to benefit.