Originally published: December 21, 2009
Last updated: December 21, 2009 - 11:18pm
Although Washington (DC) took Monday off to dig out, Federal Communications Commission staff were in Chicago to hear about how connecting small businesses and helping them use broadband at speeds sufficient for various applications is crucial to the national broadband plan. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was on hand and heard panelists say broadband benefits small businesses by lowering costs -- particularly start-up costs, increasing service efficiency, fostering collaborative work including between remote locations, enhancing skills training, and providing businesses access to wider markets. Panelists also cited cost, lack of education, and bandwidth deficiency as some of the reasons why small businesses have not embraced broadband more widely. Norma Reyes, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said one of the key ways to spur wider adoption is to work closely with organizations in local communities to help combat the "fear" of adoption.
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