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Private or Public Sector: Who Should Deploy Broadband?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Google’s experiment in laying broadband fiber in Kansas City, Missouri revives the old question of who should deploy broadband technology: the public sector, the private sector, or an entity based on a public utility model?

Municipally deployed broadband (like its previous sibling, municipal Wi-Fi) continues to be somewhat problematic. A recent audit for the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, the optimistically named UTOPIA in the Salt Lake City suburbs, shows that the consortium is still waiting for broadband to catch on in order to pay back its bonds.

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Holy Big Brother Batman! It’s… “THE GOVERNMENT”!! (Maniacal laugh)

Many advances have taken place since the turn of the century.  In our lifetime, we have seen a surge of technological advances that have launched our society into a communicative and interactive wonderland.  With our creativity and engineering, we have managed to connect societies seemingly “worlds” apart and made them available in real-time.  Well, at least in the civilian world… What about “The Government” (Ominous music playing)… Where are “we” in this some-what ubiquitous world?  The thoughts of George Orwell’s 1984 come to mind. 

Well, what is Government, then?  And what do we mean when we say “21st Century Government?” (This link means that you need to go ‘like’ our Facebook page.)  Is Government really that obscure?  Maybe it IS the Aliens! 

Government on a whole is thought by many to be this abstract intangible aspect that just magically works; weaving in and out of our lives, probably in our sleep.  Something that’s almost whispered in back alley ways and passed around in underground dive bars.  During the day, it’s lucid, combed, clean cut, and dresses well with a nice aroma.  But at night, it seems as if a delirious dream that’s combined with science fiction and paranoia.  “Government” enters our mind and through subliminal rhetoric, speaks of control and power… frightening isn’t it…

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What can the Public Sector Learn from the Best Corporate Innovation Strategies? – Part 2

In my previous post, I described the “culture of innovation,” for which Bay Area companies have become renowned. And we looked, briefly, at what it could mean for the public sector.

It may come as something of a surprise that Bay Area companies are no more likely to follow a Technology Drivers innovation model than companies located elsewhere. Like many top innovators, companies in the Bay Area have not only found success in creating ground-breaking technologies, but they are almost twice as likely as other companies to have developed the capabilities needed to provide a superior understanding of the stated and unstated needs of their end customers. It isn’t just about how many transistors you can fit on a chip.  It’s about how such advances can lead to products and services that gain traction in the marketplace through superior insight into, and understanding of, customers’ needs. Read More »

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What can the Public Sector Learn from the Best Corporate Innovation Strategies?

Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area are famous for their long history of leadership in computing, semiconductors, software, biotechnology, internetworking, and innovation-based industries. But what makes it unique, beyond the laboratories, talent base, and access to capital? And what exactly is this oft-cited “culture of innovation”?

Sean Randolph and his team at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) set out to find the answers. Read More »

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Economic Development, Biotech and Research Come Together for Innovation at BIO 2012

If you missed BIO 2012, you missed a lot.  The public and private sector came together this week on Boston to examine innovation opportunities to promote economic growth through collaborative research and development projects.  The event drew 16,505 industry leaders from 49 states and 65 countries.  Boston was host to universities, researchers, state, local and federal government economic development representatives, clinicians and private industries.  This was science at its best at a truly global event.  Discussions around where the biotech industry is going and how pharma is changing took center stage most of the week.

A positive trend was noted in a special state of bioscience development report that analyzes state and national biotech employment patterns. Despite job losses in the U.S. private sector, it showed that US biotech industry actually added jobs between 2001 and 2010.  Throughout the week multiple conversations and meetings took place discussing how the ability to collaborate was a key element to attracting biotech projects.  Many countries visited the Cisco booth to discover what they needed to do to create an infrastructure to welcome biotech development. How can governments work together with biotech companies to produce and atmosphere that welcomes and fosters innovation?

 

 

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