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Ranked #5: Availability of Telecommunications Services

The companies that rated AVAILABILITY OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS as very important in Area Development's 2006 Corporate Survey realize that those communities setting ICT trends are more attractive locations than those just reacting to these trends.

Jun/Jul 07
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Communities That Focus on Information Access
What does this mean to site selection and attracting economic growth? It means economic development agencies must become fully aware and creative to make their areas stand out as innovation centers of expertise. They must look at the strengths and weaknesses of their geography and how to promote public-private collaboration.

It is also time to redefine community libraries. One hundred years ago there were few public libraries. Until Andrew Carnegie made it a worldwide mission, a library as a "public good" was not widely acknowledged or acted upon. Today, it is estimated that global public spending on libraries is in excess of $40 billion and that the United States spends more than $12 billion annually in support of libraries. In the 21st century, since much information is likely to be digital and accessed via the Internet, it seems appropriate that some amount of annual library expenditures should be set aside from public funds to enable digital access to information and knowledge.

The emphasis and focus needs to be community collaboration - where local colleges, universities, business, and government help stimulate innovation from within. Why not fund some bright new graduates and provide incubation facilities in a municipal building to create a "start-up" alley in the local community? If a community already has incubator facilities, is it creating forums to bring in thought leaders who can stimulate creative thinking and innovation, and share best practices from other geographies in the area of ICT strategy development and planning?

Seldom will geographically dispersed communities share best practices with one another. Therefore, it is important to identify unbiased third-party entities that can advise on ICT strategies, companies a community might want to attract, seminars and symposiums it might want to run, and technology areas it might want to encourage incubation around. Proactive leadership such as this makes the difference between those locations reacting to ICT trends and those setting them.

Innovative Capital Ventures, Inc. ( provides thought leadership in the area of helping communities develop a proactive ICT strategy that will create jobs and improve quality of life. Services range from keynote presentations to strategic development and planning.

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