Monday, April 03, 2006

Lafayette as emerging TeleWork capital

OK, this article isn't really about Lafayette, at least not directly. But, it does point to one of the emerging opportunities that Lafayette will have once BellSouth/AT&T decide they've spent enough of their and our money on lawyers fighting the LUS fiber project.

It's an article about a Virginia congressman complaining that the federal government isn't doing enough to take advantage of the cost savings and efficiencies that come from having workers do their jobs via the Internet -- either from home or from some other place.

The potential that Lafayette has (what with the 100 megabit local network connection and the fat pipes to the Internet) is to become a place where people whose work enables them to conduct their business from any place in the work could choose to do so from here.

In the 90s, these folks were known as lone eagles but, in the Free Agent era, they are more plentiful, better paid, and just an "attractive community with fat pipes" away from setting up shop in some unexpected place -- like, say, Lafayette.

It's consistent with the theory espoused by economist Richard Florida in his books about the Creative Class. The three things communities need in order to attract these folks are: 1) technology; 2) talent; and 3) tolerance.

We're about to have the first two nailed, while we've got a fair bit of work to do on #3. But, two out of three will still put us well ahead of most communities. Imagine how well we could do if we actually got ALL of our ducks in a row?

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