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After Broadband, Then What? The Real Work Begins

Howard Baldwin - PhotographBy Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

I find myself writing more often about the challenges of getting broadband installed – financing it, building consensus, partnering with the private sector. The goal, as has been written many times, is create a foundation for economic growth.

But even after broadband is installed, economic growth doesn’t just happen automatically. It has to be nurtured. That’s the challenge that cities, regions, and countries have to be aware of. The work doesn’t stop once broadband transmissions start.

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The Internet is Booming in Latin America, Especially Among Younger Users

JasonHeadShot,croppedBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Looking for the world’s hottest markets for Internet and social media activity? It’s not North America, or Europe, or even Asia. The real action is in Latin America.

ComScore recently released a study detailing some of these trends. Among the most impressive: Latin America had the fastest-growing Internet population of all regions in the world, growing 12 percent between 2012 and 2013, and reaching more than 147 million unique web visitors as of last March.

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A Framework for the Next Generation Internet

It’s a very challenging time to be an economist – uncertainty is everywhere, and adapting to a market change is problematic. In contrast, if you’re a network planner you’ve now got the upper hand. You can think ahead with a degree of certainty that you’ll be prepared — no matter what the future holds in store.

That may seem like two totally unrelated thoughts. They’re actually closely aligned. Let me explain.

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Crowdsourcing Fiber Networks: Community Validated Investment in Action

Howard Baldwin - PhotographBy Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Fact: laying fiber communications infrastructure is expensive. Fantasy: the ability to know ahead of time how many property owners in a given neighborhood would pay for a new fiber infrastructure by subscribing to services or even – and here’s a real fantasy – paying more to get the fiber laid initially.

Except it’s not a fantasy. If you’re a telecom carrier, a cable company, a municipality, even a group of community activists, Greg Richardson is here to offer a compelling approach to capital investment in new infrastructure. And he’s done it with an idea that’s almost embarrassingly simple.

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What’s Next for the Internet of Everything and Cities?

Today’s cities are experiencing the emergence of a new imperative from public leaders and industries. “Digital urbanism” is rapidly becoming a central pillar for urban planners, architects, developers, and transportation providers, as well as in public service provision.

From a public leadership perspective, cities can be viewed as microcosms of the interconnected networks that make up the Internet of Everything (IoE). In fact, cities serve as “fertile ground” for realizing value from IoE.

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