Today’s Home Automation Technology Gives Hooch a Rest

Home Automation Technology and Security – For the Dogs? For centuries, home security has gone to the dogs – literally! If an intruder came close, Hooch’s bark would alert anyone in the house and the immediate neighbors and, hopefully, intimidate the intruder into retreat. The proverbial guard dog security system was relatively inexpensive – pet food, an occasional trip to the vet – but not always totally reliable. If no one was around to hear… Read more »

Myth Busted: Private Firms Do Invest in Rural Fiber Networks

The fall foliage surrounds a quaint New England village in an aerial photogrph

    Rural fiber networks are a hot topic in the political scene at the local, state and federal level.  Those interested in economic development, aging in place and education are particularly avid supporters of deploying fiber networks for high-speed Internet access, because of the immense value Internet networks have in these areas.  These motivations have led some municipalities to take matters into their own hands and invest in building fiber networks of their own…. Read more »

A Fresh Look at Public-Private Partnership in Broadband

Business people shaking hands in the office after succesful meeting. Three persons

Lately, the phrase “public-private partnership” has been thrown around a lot in the context of improving and expanding broadband Internet access in Maine.  For many of the broadband projects that have used that terminology, the meaning of public-private partnership has been that the private entity provided the expertise and the public entity, such as a municipality, has provided the majority of the capital. The presumption is that private companies are unwilling or unable to invest in… Read more »

Digital Literacy: Who’s Responsible?

Digital Literacy: Who is responsible for sharing all the advantages of broadband?

Before we answer the Digital Literacy question, lets take a little refresher course in Economics, remember widgets? Economics 101 taught us that if you develop a widget, in order to profit from it, you need a market in which to sell it. Therefore, if your widget is a hat that keeps your entire body warm with some edgy thermal-technology, you target your market and sell your product in really cold places where buyers should be… Read more »

Broadband Access Improves Quality of Place

Broadband access is playing a larger role in our lives every day.  No wonder; broadband offers significant benefits to both quality of life and quality of place. When we speak of benefits to quality of life, we’re really talking about how broadband Internet benefits the individual, a topic we wrote about last week. These benefits include things like education, healthcare, aging in place and telecommuting. Although each of these offer distinct benefits to the individual,… Read more »