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Smart Grid: the Evolving Energy Landscape

The basic concept of an electrical power grid has matured from the early stand-alone distribution systems that serviced a limited geographic area to a more expansive and far-reaching regional network that incorporates multiple areas. In practice, the uninterrupted access to sources of electric power became a key ingredient of the economic development advances that were made possible during the Industrial Age.

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How Broadband Reduces Small Business Expenses

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

When it comes to proving the benefits of broadband deployment, we frequently focus on the macroeconomic issues – the big-picture impact of infrastructure and access to high-speed networking. But the Internet Innovation Alliance and the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) recently looked at broadband from a microeconomic standpoint.

In their report, Start-Up Savings: Boosting Entrepreneurship through Broadband Internet, jointly issued last month, they calculated how much small businesses can save by conducting their administrative activities online. The answer: a  substantial $16,550.52.

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Networked Readiness: Change in Methodology Shifts Rankings

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Where is broadband deployment most widespread and thus most successful? Countless surveys, including some that we’ve referred to on the Connected Life Exchange, show Asia as the undisputed leader — especially South Korea.

But INSEAD (formerly known as the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires) tweaked its methodology for tracking network readiness in its Global Information Technology Report (GTIR) between 2011 and this year, the rankings of its Networked Readiness Index (NRI) came out slightly different, and Asia’s presence faded.

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How Mobile Networks Empower Low-Income Entrepreneurs

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

I’ve been intrigued by the amazing ways that people are using mobile phones in the developing world. From agriculture to banking to education, mobile connectivity is providing all sorts of services that would otherwise be out of reach, and helping to lift thousands of people out of poverty.

But one of the most interesting things about these mobile efforts is how many of them are aiming not just to provide direct services, but to help entrepreneurs help themselves – and thereby build stronger economies.

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Empowering Women with Mobile Services

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Last year, I wrote a series of editorials about how mobile data services — mobile agriculture and banking in particular — are becoming major economic drivers in developing economies. While these services can benefit all people in regions under-served by traditional infrastructure, women may benefit in particular.

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