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Broadband for Sustainable Communities

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Broadband or high-speed Internet access allows users to access the Internet and Internet-related services at significantly higher speeds than those available through “dial-up” Internet access services. Broadband has proven to be a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and a better way of life. Indeed, broadband has the potential to:

  • Enable communities to attract new businesses and skilled work;
  • Enable improvements in public education through e-learning and online resources, preparing them for the future information-based economy;
  • Promote healthy communities by facilitating more efficient and widespread delivery of high-quality healthcare services, through telehealth
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through telehealth, telecommuting, long-distance and business communication programs, and e-commerce, all of which are high speed Internet-based applications that replace basic everyday carbon-intensive activities with carbon neutral alternatives.

With all the benefits that broadband offers, it is crucial that local governments and planners incorporate next-generation broadband infrastructure into their industrial, commercial, residential or mixed-use projects. There are many resources available to promote broadband that can be incorporated into local planning efforts. Local governments that anticipate and plan for these changes can look forward to stable and sustainable economic growth by increasing their area’s attractiveness for citizens, academic, research and government institutions, educational institutions, health providers, and businesses. With next generation broadband, redeveloped SJV areas can become magnets for economic growth.

Deployment of next-generation broadband would help to eliminate the digital divide in unserved and underserved areas.  Unless broadband gaps are filled, these disadvantaged areas are likely to fall still further behind the rest of the state and the nation in terms of economic opportunity, job growth, education, healthcare, energy efficiency, and overall quality of life. For this reason, the contribution and involvement of local governments and planners in aligning next-generation broadband infrastructure with their planning efforts is critical.

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