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.
As a new contributor to the Connected Life Exchange, I have been thinking — there’s so much that is happening in the realm of technology and telecoms , not just in the UK, but globally — it is difficult to know where to start.
So let’s go on a journey, with the starting point being East London – my home town.
In November 2010 David Cameron pledged ‘that the East London Tech City will rival the Silicon Valley’. This got me thinking, how do you create something like Silicon Valley, when Silicon Valley, really just happened? So what did David Cameron really mean when he said this and more to the point, how on earth is it going to be achieved?
Most informed people tend to agree, broadband services can be applied as an enabler of socioeconomic advancement. However, while high-speed internet access is an important ingredient for gaining entry into the global networked economy, its application is most effective when used as part of a concerted effort to empower the members of a local community.
Howard’s recent story about the role of broadband in rural development attracted some interesting commentary — both on the blog post and within the LinkedIn groups where I shared a summary. Most of the comments were about infrastructure investment, but some of the other insights reminded me of the observations that I made during my recent trip to London, England.
By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist
If you are a student of history and commerce, you recognize a clear pattern to the development of cities. In the beginning, most of them were founded on rivers — think Paris and the Seine, London and the Thames, New York and the Hudson.
Then railroads took over from rivers as a catalyst for development. In the United States, Chicago and Denver owe their existence to the proximity of tracks, rather than proximity to water. Thus began the transition from natural to industrial.
Today we are in the middle of the transition from the industrial to the digital, based on the rapid deployment of broadband technology. What will be the first major city based on digital technology? Is it Silicon Valley, in California? Is it Bombay? Is it Shanghai?
If your image of Eastern Europe leans toward Yugos and Soviet farm collectives, it’s sadly outdated. It’s entirely possible that, with new government programs stimulating Internet connectivity and new EU regulations benefiting less-developed members, Eastern Europe may be on the verge of its own broadband boom.
Eastern Europe already has a strong foundation from a broadband standpoint. When Jet-Stream, a Dutch content-delivery consulting firm, posted the results of Speedtest.net tests on broadband speeds last year, the results were more than a little surprising.
Download speeds in Latvia 18.86 Mbps, exceeded that of Japan, at 17.52 Mbps. Of the top 24 countries, half were in Eastern Europe (the other half was split among Scandinavia, Europe, and Asia). Of those 12, nine have joined the EU.