People obey traffic laws, Atlanta shuts down

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 03/01/2006 - 10:07

If you are interested in how the ability to make and publish your own video programming is going to change the media landscape, take 5 minutes to watch this video made by some young people in Atlanta.

If you have ever driven on Atlanta highways, you know that the traffic on the ring roads circling the city are some of the worst in the country. Despite a posted speed limit of 55 mph, traffic routinely moves at speeds up to 80 mph.

This group of young people made their own video of....(gasp!)

Obeying traffic laws!

Oh, the horror! Their video shows just how desperate commuters are to drive over the speed limit, including one incident that could have been a serious accident. But who would have been at fault? They were just driving the speed limit.

It's a great demonstration of the video streaming technology. The video is hosted on Google, and yes, the quality is mediocre. But it really does not affect the message at all, which is that Atlanta's traffic situation is completely out of control.

And it was not one of those breathless six o'clock news stories (...up next, the dangers of dust bunnies and the story of one family's struggle. Could there be dust bunnies in your neighborhood? News Channel 7 investigates because we're on your side!).

People young and old should be telling their own stories in every neighborhood and community in the country, and there should be a community-owned video server so that our stories are not turned into billboards that fill Google's pockets and return nothing to the community.

Georgia creates "Entrepreneur Friendly" communities

Submitted by acohill on Mon, 02/13/2006 - 14:15

Georgia has created Entrepreneur Friendly communities (hat tip to the excellent EDPro blog).

It takes about a year for a rural community to qualify for the award, which is managed by the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development. In order to qualify, local leaders have to take leadership training, receive training on entrepreneurship needs, and work with local businesses (often a new concept for economic developers). Some communities are already reporting that they are seeing results.

Digital Cities: Dalton, Georgia Case Study

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 04/20/2005 - 15:06

Ray Buzzard, of Dalton Utilities, spoke about the Dalton, Georgia community broadband project. Dalton's community fiber project, only about two years old, has already had very positive economic development effects by keeping hundreds of manufacturing jobs in the community. The high performance, low cost network persuaded some local manufacturers to stay in the community rather than moving elsewhere.

Local government was a key anchor tenant by making an early commitment to use the system.

Dalton adopted a retail business model, in which the utility sells services directly to customers (voice, video, data). They had to do this because they could not attract service providers with the low number of potential subscribers. The project has achieved a 45% take rate in less than two years, and 47% is their break even point--they expect to meet that before the end of 2005.

Some of the advice Buzzard had included:

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