Originally published: August 18, 2009
Last updated: August 18, 2009 - 9:02pm
[Commentary] Assembling a group of technologists, industry think tanks and, consultant types into the first rounds of discussions on the National broadband Plan does the needs analysis process a disservice. You're not going to fix the problems that the lack of broadband creates, nor deliver the opportunities that broadband promises unless early on you have these discussions with the clients. Communities are the clients. They have the economic development needs, the telemedicine needs, the lack of educational opportunities. They have the population demographics and the terrain challenges that impacts the ability to use "x" versus "y" technology. What's more, they are paying directly and indirectly for the solution they get. Furthermore, these discussions have to be more than just dog and pony shows to appease the masses while the agencies go back to their offices to craft rules more favorable to sellers than to buyers. Or they split the difference with some rules that appease communities and many that appease incumbents, which usually means ultimately that those benefiting the most are the biggest private sector companies. The Feds have to realize that there are private sector companies that will lose out on some deals. The world will not end.
[Craig Settles, President of Successful.com, is an industry expert who helps organizations pursue stimulus grants.]
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