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Broadband Infrastructure: Should Rural Investment Be a Priority?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Sometimes those promoting extensive infrastructure projects — broadband or otherwise — exhibit a Field of Dreams mentality: “If you build it, they will come.” My own state of California is currently wrestling with such a project, a $68 billion high-speed rail line that opponents claim is too expensive and will never pay for itself. My attitude: come the day we have to evacuate San Francisco or Los Angeles after a major earthquake, people are going to be grateful it was built.

As we recently discussed in Broadband Backlash: Where It Comes From and How to Fix It, broadband deployments also have their detractors. Currently, one of the biggest areas of contention swirls around the value of rural broadband. There are really two sides of the story.

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Leadership and Vision – Two critical ingredients for achieving regional resiliency

On May 24, 2012, the non-profit Sustainable Silicon Valley and its partners gathered at West Summit 2012, with hundreds of others, to explore interlocking themes: Global Trade, Regional Resilience, and Climate Volatility. The Summit featured high-caliber speakers and sponsors from corporations, governmental agencies, NGOs and educational institutions.

I was part of a panel entitled, “Leadership and Vision to Achieve Regional Resiliency,” which focused on the twin challenges facing cities — sustainability and resiliency. We honed in on best practices gleaned to date and how leaders can catalyze the deep transformation necessary to build a sustainable future. Read More »

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