Local governments are now eagerly discussing how to utilize information and communications technology (ICT) investment to advance their economic development plans. Topic awareness has increased, and yet total comprehension and plan execution is still a work in progress. Regardless, we’ve seen notable progress.
Back in 1997 I managed the public sector account teams for US West in the state of Arizona. It was my responsibility to understand and support the ICT needs and wants of our local government, education and public safety customers.
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Tags: 2011, broadband, economic development, execution, market research, planning
By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist
A century ago, Africa was looked upon as a continent with great resources. All the great European powers cast imperialistic eyes across its vast landscape.
Today, the story has shifted. Africa still has vast resources and potential, but efforts to capture these capabilities and resources are primarily in the hands of Africans themselves, and they are working to “mobilize the human, financial and technical resources required to bridge major gaps in information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure across the region.”
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Tags: Connect Africa, economic development, ICT, infrastructure, ITU, strategy, tactics
What separates the technology-advanced nations from all others, and how is that supremacy being applied most effectively for social and economic advantage? This is a question that I’ve asked myself repeatedly over the last decade.
Clearly, I’m not alone in my quest for insights that help our understanding of why some nations have excelled at enacting meaningful Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market development.
What I’ve learned to date: the nations that were able to make a quantum leap in progress did so only after they completed a candid assessment of their current status – essentially, a detailed situation analysis that ranked their relative position in the global networked economy.
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Tags: broadband, global networked economy, ICT, market development, Songdo, South Korea
By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist
When the telephone network became a commercial offering in the waning years of the 19th century, its architecture was quite different than the switch-centric, hub-and-spoke system that we have today. In that first iteration there was no concept of switching, the mechanical or electrical process of setting up a temporary connection between two parties for the duration of the call.
To talk with David on the telephone in those days, I would have had to have a dedicated circuit installed between my house and his. If I also wanted to be able to call my son or daughter, I would have to have additional circuits installed from my house to theirs.
This leads to what is known in the world of network topology as the “n times n minus one over two problem.” N is the number of people who want to be able to communicate with each other, and the little equation yields the number of circuits that must be installed to allow n people to talk with each other. Five people require ten circuits, but beyond that the number goes exponential. For a small city of 35,000 people like Burlington, Vermont, where I live, the number of circuits required to connect the city this way would be somewhere north of 600 million.
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Tags: communication networks, network topology, switching, telephone
By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist
Reading David’s post on “TEDTalks” got me thinking about how we conceive of the classroom and what the future holds for higher learning. How important is the traditional college experience in a world where ubiquitous broadband networks let us see and interact with teachers virtually, from anywhere in the world?
In his 1854 essay “The Idea of a University,” John Henry Newman argued why, even in an age when knowledge was widely accessible in books, the college experience was still vital:
“The general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the colour, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us, you must catch all these from those in whom it lives already. You must imitate the student in French or German, who is not content with his grammar, but goes to Paris or Dresden: you must take example from the young artist, who aspires to visit the great Masters in Florence and in Rome. …we must come to the teachers of wisdom to learn wisdom.”
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Tags: college, internet, open education, school, TEDTalks, university, video