Chicago Follows the Gigabit Road

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12/27/2012 8:13:46 AM
User Rank Village Voice
It is not just having the technology but it is about applying it effectively
Once again, we see the 'common wisdom' about high speed internet access being the goal. Chicago presents a real opportunity to go beyond this baseline objective and lead the country in innovative application of high speed broadband for a regional strategy. A significant problem for Chicago and the greater extended metropolitan communities is that of transportation demand. A recent major Chicago periodical was discussing the current topic of tolls for commuters and pushed aside the potential impact of information technologies with the comment "telework is no help". Here is Chicago luring UAL, Motorola and AT&T (formerly Ameritech) from the densly populated areas of the northwest corridor onl;y to conclude that growing transportation demand could only be addressed by charging hire fees. How does this fit into the use of broadband technologies to make Chicago a key information hub? It gives Chicago a chance to think and act outside the box by creating a deliberate and specific use network of secur4e facilitiesto localize job access and systematically address transportation demand in a way current remote work practices cannot. Internet technologies can be used for more than just general purpose utility access to "THE INTERNET". Developing an innovative multi-location workplace design would show the vision and resolve of Chicago to work with its major employers and neighboring communities. The New York Times articles on community incentives used to support single location methedologies is exactly the wrong kind of thinking and behaviour that could limit Chicago as mearely another "me too" gigabit contender.  I am hopeful Chicago Leaders will consider a more deliberate use of these transformative resources to re-engineer the broader geographic local economies and truely lead the nation in innovative and integrated approaches to economic and environmental sustainablility. 

12/12/2012 11:18:52 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Response rate
Nicole, surprisingly, the responses were almost exactly the number we were projecting, though the diversity of respondents was a happy surprise. Promotion happens via normal procurement channels that vendors monitor, social media which has been vital for diverse response, and old-fashioned speaking at conferences/conventions and with companies we think could contribute meaningful ideas. Also, we launched the challenge with an announcement of free wireless in our most emblematic public space, Millennium Park, which ensured that people who don't even know what a fiber network was knew about it. Everyone likes free wifi. :-)

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/12/2012 6:06:05 PM
User Rank Staff
Response rate
Hi John. Thanks for keeping us in the loop about the work you're doing with the Broadband Challenge. Curious about the response rate... is that lower than what you were anticipating? How are you promoting this so that people know to weigh in with ideas? 

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/10/2012 6:15:33 PM
User Rank Staff
Kind of puzzled
This sounds like a great idea, but I'm not really following why Chicago hasn't been on top of this previously. I mean, Singapore and other cities have some of the best connectivity in the world, but they haven't needed to crowdsource to figure out how to implement it.

Simon Hersom
Simon Hersom  
12/10/2012 3:11:32 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Having fast broadband at not be enough. But not having it would be disastrous

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