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Can Broadband Access Fuel Job Creation?

The message from leaders across rural America is clear — they want broadband access to the internet, and they’re hoping that by raising the awareness of their common cause they’ll see some near-term progress towards that goal (helping to fuel new job creation).

Howard’s prior editorial entitled “Can Broadband Reshape Rural Development” seemed to trigger some spirited commentary. But that’s not surprising, when you consider how well organized and vocal the rural stakeholder groups have been in the past.

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Happy Labor Day

Like many Americans, I am enjoying the 3-day holiday weekend.  I’m taking advantage of Labor Day promotional sales, watching college football games, and relaxing with family and good food on the BBQ.   

On this Labor Day, jobs are critically important to government leaders at all levels:

  • National government with President Obama’s Jobs Council Listening and Action sessions in Portland and Dallas in advance speech coming later this week 
  • State goverment such as in California where the jobless rate is currently at 12% 
  • City and local governments, mayors unveil jobs plan

Reflecting on the history of Labor Day, I wonder what our working world will be like in the future compared to the past.  LIFE has captured images “In Praise of American the Worker”  that captures the spirit of hardwork. 

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Connecting Sichuan Program Transforms Healthcare and Education in China

August 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm PST

In 2008, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake displaces 4.8 million residents and takes 68,000 lives in China’s Sichuan Province.

Following the 2008 earthquake, Cisco in partnership with the Chinese Government created a unique public-private partnership called Connecting Sichuan, a three-year, 45M corporate social responsibility program to revitalize the region, Read More »

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Broadband Impact: The Macroeconomic Benefits

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Last June, the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a joint project of the International Telecommunications Union and UNESCO, issued a report about the impact of broadband globally. It contained enlightening estimates — variations of which we’ve discussed frequently — about the value of broadband for business. For instance:

  • Europe: Broadband can create more than two million jobs and an increase in GDP of at least €636 billion by 2015
  • Brazil: Broadband has already added up to 1.4% to the employment growth rate
  • China: Every 10% increase in broadband penetration contributes an additional 2.5% to
  • GDP growth
  • Thailand: Even though only some 3% of households and 12% of individuals had broadband, broadband promotion could add 2.4% to the country’s GDP growth rate.

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Virtual vs. Physical Interactions

In response to my post of the Chattanooga editorial, someone wrote to me that he thought that virtual communications would make physical interaction even more important.  I won’t go into the whole argument here, but note that this is more sophisticated than the simple comparison of virtual vs. physical interactions that many people have made.

Nevertheless, I did think that it deserved a response and here it is:

I think the Internet in its current form (texting, email, social media, etc.) is still an immature form of communications.  So the crux of the matter is not so much whether the current Internet will change how people interact, but how the ubiquitous video communications of the future will affect behavior. Read More »

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