Results that match "Municipalities"
Municipalities and the Broadband Networks to Power Them
It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without the internet. For some of us, we do remember a time when we couldn’t access information in minutes or waited for the dial up tone to complete before we could get connected. Our new digital age has provided us the means to better communicate with others and has created more efficient productivity.
Businesses rely on technology to reach both customers and partners, enabling employees to work both in-house and remotely, and allowing for usage of next-level business applications to run faster and do more. But while many urban communities have access to all levels of internet speeds, some rural ones may not have the same luxury.
Municipalities and Broadband
Municipalities, urban administrative divisions of self-governing jurisdictions, are usually located on the outskirts of larger populations. These municipalities, because of their locations, may not be able to access the level of broadband that drives growth and progress. Lack of reliable internet access can be detrimental to attracting businesses, and residents for that matter, reducing the ability for economic development to flourish. Generations Y & Z expect to be connected, they grew up on the internet – so in an effort to help recruit businesses, cities need to attract and retain young professionals for the community to grow. Broadband is a key way to appeal to younger generations who want these high capacity speeds and are used to daily integration with technology.
Data from the National Broadband Map show that rural areas do have access to broadband, however their speeds have been shown to be 30 times slower than the national average. 75% of rural areas have access to connections of at least 10 Mbps versus 98% of those in urban areas, while only 61% of rural areas have access to 25 Mbps speeds compared to 94% of urban areas.
In terms of internet providers that are available, only a small percentage of rural areas have access to at least three providers versus the diversity of the urban population.
Helping Towns All Over the Country to Become Fiber Cities
How can rural areas advance the way their urban counterparts are? The simple way is to provide them with the same access to high-speed internet, with the same speeds – or better – in order to be more agile, productive, and efficient. Broadband access makes the world a much smaller place, leveling the playing field for competition because it eliminates geographic boundaries. That’s why Mediacom Business has made the investment in the rural communities that we serve to bring the same level of internet access that one would expect in the largest of metropolitan areas. Our fiber-optic broadband infrastructure capable of internet speeds of 10 Gigabit and beyond is the same technology found in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. And with our most recent announcement that Mediacom’s broader plan is to invest $1 billion over the next 3 years to, among other projects, upgrade and expand its national broadband network – this means our broadband network will be further deep rooted into our rural communities that span 22 states.
This commitment to our communities has had a positive economic impact, especially in key verticals like healthcare, education and finance. As these community anchors venture into advanced platforms like telemedicine or e-learning curriculum – it enables residents to stay local and consume local versus traveling hours to a larger city. Within the state of Iowa, our fiber optic network leverages Gigabit+ level broadband to 323 communities, making Iowa the first Gigabit state in the nation. Our rural communities and municipalities now have the access to high-speed broadband that they may not have had with other providers who were not willing to make the investment.
Providing municipalities with this level of high-speed internet transforms businesses and their communities into progressive hubs of economic developments. The City of Grimes in Iowa, one of the fastest growing areas in the Des Moines Metro, understands how essential fiber-optic broadband is to any developing community. They strive to work with Mediacom Business and like providers to put the infrastructure in place to drive growth into the community. Businesses want to be in communities where the quality of life is high so they can attract quality employees. The Mid-West has become a hot bed for incubator spaces so startups can flourish and the region can be known for more than just cornfields – that success and sustainability comes from having adequate broadband access.
Municipalities face the same challenges, if not more, than business owners. They have budgets to manage, scrutinized as it includes public tax-payer dollars, critical emergency communications and more. So how do towns and cities become good stewards of their funding while trying to reach the strategic goal of every growing area to drive economic development?
The notion of Smart Cities has erupted to use different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. And what can drive the evolution of this new technology is a synergistic private/public partnership between the city and the broadband provider who already has deep rooted infrastructure that can carry the data stream that is necessary to effectively operate this level of innovation.
There is such a large influx of data circulating our population every day. What if your hometown could use that data to reduce energy consumption and pollution, make transportation more efficient, and lure affluent tenants? These are all key ingredients to attracting and retaining businesses and in turn the employees who work for them. Sensing and monitoring public activity accurately and frequently could be the path to get there.
And while there is always an “app for that” – imagine one for your hometown...a mobile app that can alert you of traffic patterns, where an open parking spot may be or when the snowplow hits your neighborhood during a big storm.
And the goal for most growing cities is sustainability. How will they keep up with lure of large metropolitan areas? How do they attract the digitally driven generations to raise families and work in their city? Quality of life is crucial to reaching these goals.
Steve Case, co-founder of AOL predicts that we’re at the dawn of the next technological revolution unlike anything we’ve seen before—the Third Wave of the internet— that will transform the economy and the way we live our lives.
The first wave saw AOL and other companies lay the foundation for consumers to connect to the internet. The second wave saw companies like Google and Facebook build on top of the internet to create search and social networking capabilities, while apps like Snapchat and Instagram leverage the smartphone revolution. Now, Case argues, we’re entering the Third Wave: a period in which entrepreneurs will vastly transform major “real world” sectors like health, education, transportation, energy, and food—and in the process change the way we live our daily lives. But success in the Third Wave will require a different skill set. And this is dependent upon how cities/towns are going to reinvent themselves to become relevant to the digital economy that we now live in. At the core of that is infrastructure. Infrastructure doesn’t only mean roads and electricity anymore; it includes broadband, the driver to powering this level of innovation and offering the platform for cities to thrive.
The broadband delivery mechanism is just as important as the technology itself being used. The world is going to run on very bandwidth intensive requirements, and cable companies have built a network that can more than handle the workload. 100% fiber-optic solutions are the latest and greatest delivery method for internet services. The fiber pipe is limitless when it comes to capacity, offering multi-site connectivity that cities who utilize the Smart City model will need.
Techrepublic unpacks what a Smart City is and how by 2050 60% of the population will live in cities.