South Carolina

South Carolina to businesses: Stay away--we have lousy broadband and high prices

Submitted by acohill on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 07:37

Following the success of getting legislators to outlaw competitive broadband in North Carolina, incumbents are busy trying to outlaw competition in South Carolina. That legislators would agree to support legislation that so obviously anti-business, anti-growth, and anti-jobs is baffling. Surely it is not that hard to raise campaign funds that legislators would vote against jobs and economic development. Stop the Cap! has the whole story.

Charleston's Digital Corridor worth studying

Submitted by acohill on Fri, 11/17/2006 - 11:02

Charleston, South Carolina's very successful Digital Corridor program is worth careful study. Ernest Andrade, the manager of the program, understands that economic development today is about making and nurturing relationships, not water and sewer. Here is a short excerpt from Andrade's article that summarizes where economic development should be focused today:

"Three key pieces of statistical data reinforce an argument that communities should spend more of their economic development resources on business formation. First, approximately 80% of all job creation occurs from within the community; second, a majority of the businesses being formed today have five or fewer employees; and third, there is an inverse relationship between high wage, knowledge-based companies and their physical space requirements."

It is the last item that is particularly worthy of careful analysis: high wage knowledge companies don't need a lot of real estate. They don't need vast tracts of empty land. They often don't even want to be in business parks. They often want to be in rehabbed downtown lofts, close to other small businesses, and close to good restaurants, where the deals are so often made. They want to be close to good coffee shops so they can meet casually with co-workers and clients. They want to be near vibrant and active downtown areas.

Charleston is a shining example of what is possible in community revitalization, and if you have never visited the city, it would be worth it to pack up all your economic developers and spend a couple of days there. Give Andrade a call and talk to him while you are there.

Don't confuse franchise fees with right of way rights

Submitted by acohill on Mon, 05/29/2006 - 07:49

South Carolina legislators have passed a bill that creates statewide franchising. What distresses me is that two distinct issues have been mixed up together in this legislation. Franchise fees have been lumped together with right of way. Franchise fees, as originally conceived, no longer make sense when content providers don't have to have a physical presence in the community. But communities do need to have control over their right of way and over those companies that still want to place cable in community right of way. The bill is bad law not so much because franchise fees have been eliminated but because communities have had their rights taken away (the right to manage their own common/public property).

The only solution, in my opinion, is for communities to get busy and build their own, open access broadband networks. Doing so eliminates the overbuilding in community right of way.

Upcoming broadband conferences

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 02/22/2006 - 14:32

Benedict College, in Columbia, South Carolina, is hosting a Technology Summit that is focused on how broadband and technology can improve and enhance life in urban neighborhoods and rural small communities. I'll be giving the opening keynote talk next Tuesday.

Out in Vancouver, British Columbia, a broad consortium of public groups, government, and businesses are hosting the 2006 Summit on Community Technology. Canada has committed substantial sums to improving broadband access in rural communities, and a hot topic at the meeting will be how to make best use of those funds. I'll be delivering the opening keynote at that meeting as well.

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