Thursday, March 11, 2010

A "Serious" Note on Google Fiber

I have received a lot of emails recommending we focus on the true assets of Sarasota, and not focus too much on the "sideshow tactics"... so I want to reassure everyone we are focused on the important stuff - but we also feel that the fun stuff gets people's attention a lot easier. For those who want to enter the discussion on a serious note, here is a list of things we believe needs to happen:

1. We need 10,000+ people from our city go to and fill out this form. Bottom line, Facebook Fan won't be enough (but it helps). We need to show overwhelming response from the community. My best guess on how many people have done it is around 500.

2. We need to form a "BROADBAND STRATEGY" for our community. The process we have gone through in the last few weeks has shown us that we need to have a plan in place. With our Without Google, it would be wise for us to have a well-thought thru plan constructed with input from business leaders that see broadband as a key to economic development.

3. We need to highlight "applications" that can demonstrate the value and power of a ultra-broadband network. Here are some organizations we are working with:
  1. Ringling College or Art and Design - Pre-Post Production, Digital Design
  2. Mote Marine - Collaborative Research, Video Conf, Webcasting
  3. Sarasota Memorial - Remote Care, Data Sharing
  4. The HuB - Data Centers, Tele-Commuting, Tech incubator
  5. Multiple Tech/Creative Businesses - Communications, Vertical Applications
4. We need our leaders to fight for us. The National Broadband Strategy is being announced next week, and I am sure many States will follow suit with broadband strategies as well. There is a lot of stimulus money going toward broadband infrastructure, and many companies are deploying fiber networks throughout the State of Florida. We need to have representation or we will lose out.

5. We need to continue to be Leaders in Technology and Creative industry. The Google Fiber campaign put us on a "map" of cities that understand the need for technology. We were the first and loudest city in the State of Florida. We need to maintain this brand, as an innovative community. Although we have a long way to go to claim our economy as "tech and creative"... we clearly have the capability, the assets and the desire to make the necessary change to move our community in the right direction. WE NEED to continue to build this brand.

So in summary... we are taking this serious, but there is a lot of work yet to be done, and we are depending on your (our) community support. Without a community with focus and purpose, noone will pay attention and nothing will be done.

Send letters to our leadership, asking them to form a Broadband Strategy, and help us improve our local economy... we can do this with or without Google (but don't tell them that yet)


Schineller said...

Excellent distillation of the key points we have to focus on in building potential for Sarasota to be chosen for the Google testbed. Even more importantly we are building a COMMUNITY IDENTITY that we will be able to leverage now and well into the future.
When I was with Sony I was involved in the Time Warner interactive television community test here in Florida and even though it was only a test the communities commitment provided the impetus for Nickelodean to move ALL production at the time to Orlando and build their studios there...

Brian Dombrowski said...

I'm impressed with the community passion that formed so quickly behind this. Regardless of where things go with Google, I'd like to see our community's momentum for change to continue. We need to bring *real* economic diversity to this area. I've raised a family in Sarasota during the last 18 years working as a telecommuting software engineer for Cisco. We absolutely love it here, but you always wonder, if the job ends, and you want to stay, then what? Mow lawns? wait tables, become one of 5000 SRQ realtors? I've seen too many skilled high earning creative professionals regretfully leave this area for that reason, and those are the people our leaders should be fighting to keep here. Keep up the good work and let's keep pushing beyond just Google. Let us know what we can all do to keep the momentum going.