I just watched an interesting videocast from a fellow Minnesotan. Geoff Daily (GD) of App-Rising interviewed Michael Curri (MC) founder of Strategic Networks Group, an organization that helps community leaders understand the economic impacts of broadband. It’s about 20 minutes long – and easy to watch. I encourage you to check it out – but here are my highlights:
MC brought up a good point that while most people recognize the benefits of broadband, community leaders have to make the case that broadband deserves investment as much as other needs, such as roads or security.
GD offered MC the opportunity to quantify broadband investment. MC works on a community level, when working with communities but typically the results are 10 fold ROI on GDP.
To optimize benefits you need to look at your own community needs because 70-80 percent of growth comes from growth in existing business. Who’s using it? Who’s building it? Where do you want to be 5-10 years down the road? Then you need to build and invest accordingly.
It can take 2-3 years to realize return on investment. The first two years people do work faster but after a couple years the increased technology spurs innovation and more effective work methods.
GD also asked a good question about the impact of ultra fast connections versus slower broadband. MC noted that in 3 FTTH communities they worked with – the greatest difference was reliability in fiber.
I enjoyed hearing the anecdotes on how broadband has changed specific businesses – because to me the success is built upon all of those stories of businesses increasing revenue by 20 percent or hiring two new staff members.