Archive for the ‘Knowledge Economy’ Category
Ha! What did I tell you? It is wayyy past my bedtime and I should be sleeping (especially since I’m sick and feel like I’ve been run over by a truck), but just stumbled on an interesting article from one of my favorite economic development blogs: Design Nine. He points to an article in the journalgazette.net.
Recall that in the midst of all the market doom and gloom, I recently said:
I’m actually ironically optimistic about the outlook for suburban and rural economic development. A weaker dollar will make outsourcing less attractive. That will bring manufacturing jobs back home. I can imagine a boon in suburban and rural development. Just imagine if communities developed decent broadband via fiber-to-the-home/business. Suddenly, there will be attractive jobs and living standards in affordable places.
I admit that the quote is a bit misleading because Andrew Cohill has influenced the way I think about things, but still timely I think. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Onshoring, in fact, is becoming trendy.
Some U.S. companies recently have pulled back from India to set up shop in rural areas where access to high-speed broadband connections isn’t the problem it was just a few years ago and where lower real-estate prices and wages are attractive.
Note that the key to onshoring is an investment in telecommunications infrastructure. In particular, fiber-to-the-home. It is quite sad to see so many municipalities rest their hopes on wireless broadband. That will only end in tears as the reality of wireless broadband becomes apparent. Any community that is not investing now in fiber will lose out on an important opportunity that is now beginning to present itself: onshoring. As Andrew will tell you more eloquently than I could, an intelligent investment in a communities future MUST involve a combination of both fiber and wireless and I would put wireless as a distant second. I can explain in gory detail why wireless will fail if you like (I did my PhD in the subject), but for now need to hit the sack.
Go onshoring! Go USA!
An important factor for long term economic growth is technological innovation. An important factor for technological innovation is increasingly access to high speed internet connections. The US has been falling behind Japan, South Korea, and parts of Europe in terms of access to fiber optic connections to the home. I alluded to this here and here and probably elsewhere.
In the next couple of years, I suspect you’ll see the number of articles like the one pointed out by Barry Ritholtz over on The Big Picture
TOKYO — Americans invented the Internet, but the Japanese are running away with it.
Broadband service here is eight to 30 times as fast as in the United States — and considerably cheaper. Japan has the world’s fastest Internet connections, delivering more data at a lower cost than anywhere else, recent studies show.
A new Pew internet survey came out today showing that internet users in China have grown in numbers to the point they are second only to the US and will surpass the US in a few years.
The US economy is at risk for lots of reasons these days and one reason that is probably under the radar, but will creep up in the next few years is our horrid internet service. The US has fallen far behind most developed (and some less developed) countries in terms of broadband availability. When I say “broadband” I mean broadband. Not the measly < 1 Mbps that most of us get with DSL or cable, but the more reasonable 50+ Mbps that is common in Korea, Japan, and parts of Europe.