Community networks: lessons from Blacksburg, Virginia by Andrew Michael Cohill, Andrea L. Kavanaugh PDF

By Andrew Michael Cohill, Andrea L. Kavanaugh

ISBN-10: 1580530303

ISBN-13: 9781580530309

Awarded during this paintings is the five-year evolution of the Blacksburg digital Village - the enterprise that associated the electorate of Blacksburg, Virginia, to one another and to the remainder of the realm, fullyyt during the net. It addresses the social, financial, technical and academic effect of residing in a "connected town", according to community-wide surveys, concentration teams and data-logging efforts. It additionally describes the basic elements of a neighborhood community, and gives worthwhile recommendation on designing and constructing an digital neighborhood.

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A modern-day version of this story might have some itinerant network "techie" playing the role of the peddler, and the updated version of the stone soup would be a communications network bringing economic and cultural revitalization to the community. Such a story wouldn't be far from describing the beginning of the Blacksburg Electronic Village or any one of hundreds of similar experiments in community networking. Only a very few folk with a vision for the future (a vision that probably is not very clear and not all that accurate) set out to convince a community that it (or the visionaries themselves) can build a community network like the stone soup of our fablea few donated computers here, some communications links there.

A school district in the Pittsburgh area, over a three-year period, put a network connection in every school and a computer in every classroom simply by reallocating 2% of the school budget and going cold turkey on paper once there was a computer in every teacher's classroom. E-mail and Web pages were used for all internal communications. In education, money is never the issue when it comes to connectivity; the issue is about power and turf and fear. Anyone who says there is not enough money in the school budget for computers and network connections simply does not want to face the inevitable shifts in power that the network brings.

Citizens have Internet access. Blacksburg is truly a "connected" community. With most of the world still waiting for affordable telecommunications, much work remains to be done. Worldwide, there are community network projects on every continent except Antarctica. Rural and disadvantaged communities must begin investing time and energy in Page xxiv community-wide networks (public and private) to ensure that they are not left behind in this new information economy. The development of public water systems providing clean water to citizens and communities has been a major focus of community effort in the 20th century.

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Community networks: lessons from Blacksburg, Virginia by Andrew Michael Cohill, Andrea L. Kavanaugh


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