Community Broadband Networks posts a nifty short piece that points to how ingrained a positive perception of community-owned fiber networks has become among the digerati. Notice that this really isn't a story about community networks; the basic story is about creating a strong digital workforce in New York City. The person interviewed is using Lafayette as shorthand for attending to the basic infrastructure needs supporting a vibrant tech community. I like that NYC considers Lafayette to be the obvious case of a community that has done its basic homework. (Of course, we still need to get about building on what we've made possible.)
Aw hell, rather than summarize the summary, I'll simply repeat; it's pithy enough to reproduce in full; enjoy:
In a recent New York Daily New article, Scott Stringer wrote about the Big Apple's tech employment trends. He noted that more tech related positions now come to the city but those jobs still tend to elude women and people of color. He suggests looking at New York's own workforce and offering better science and technology training. How do they do that? Improve curriculum, of course, but:
Ultimately, the new workforce is only as strong as the infrastructure that supports it. Today, fast, reliable Internet access isn’t a luxury — it is a core utility of the modern age.Stringer notes the antiquated copper throughout the city and looks south for a model:
Lafayette, La., constructed a municipal fiber network in 2005, linking fiber to every home and business. In Chattanooga, Tenn., the city worked with the public electric company to build a fiber network that not only helped modernize the energy grid, but also linked 150,000 homes and businesses to a gigabit connection that is 20 times faster than connections in much of New York City.London-based Foreign Direct Investment recently recognized Lafayette as one of the top 10 Small American Cities of the Future, in part due to its fiber infrastructure. Chattanooga has receivedmultiple recognitions for it innovative municipal network.