I’ve been working on a future-oriented economic growth program with the US Conference of Mayors and we have identified Chattanooga as a location to demonstrate some of these ideas because it has, by far, the largest and fastest deployment of fiber in any metro area in the US — enabling every home and other building to have a gigabit connection.
I’ve described to them how and why this kind of network changes a city’s economy and should change its economic growth strategy. I’m also helping them think of innovative uses of their network that will set up their future economic growth for a couple of decades — with particular emphasis on those that are only feasible at these higher bandwidths. Among other aspects, this includes virtual collaboration among entrepreneurs in the global marketplace, virtual lifelong learning and blended virtual/physical spaces that become destinations for both residents and tourists.
Last week, I made a presentation about this to the civic and business community in Chattanooga.
That presentation led to a significant editorial by the Chattanooga Times Free-Press (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/jul/21/the-other-economic-vision/?opiniontimes) as well as a news story (http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/jul/21/epb-grid-attracts-cisco-systems/).