"Broadband" (in tech terms) refers to the ability to receive multiple signals and processes electronically. For many Chicago communities in light of the recent broadband challenge, it means the difference between growth and development...and staying technologically stagnant.
Thankfully, this Thursday will bring the Illinois Broadband Research Conference, a one-day event that is free to the public (but you'll need to register), and collects broadband researchers from across the state of Illinois to discuss research and efforts.
The conference will be held on November 29, 2012 from 8 am-3 pm at the UIC Student Center East, located at 750 S. Halsted (and easily accessible via public transportation, although parking is available as well). Topics that will be discussed include
- Benchmarking Illinois Broadband: Who is Using High-Speed Internet? Where Are Those Users? What Are They Doing With Broadband?
- Seeding Demand: How Specific Broadband Initiatives Are Expanding Usage
- Data-Driven Impact: Using Broadband Illinois Research for City and Statewide
Building stronger communities and neighborhoods in Chicago does not just mean focusing on the more obvious issues (like economic and business development) - it means a concerted focus on insuring that everyone can participate in a radically-shifting economy. Accessibility to high-speed Internet is no longer just a good idea, or even a "nice thing to have" - it is increasingly becoming a necessary tool that drives economic sustainability. For many non-profits and organizations engaged in driving the social good, this conference may seem a little esoteric.
However, it speaks to Broadband Illinois' efforts to drive awareness about this critical tech tool. As we are moving towards an increasing dependence on web-based and online tools to accomplish greater tasks, insuring that every community in the state has access to broadband is extremely critical. Insuring equal access and availability is less about meeting an agenda as much as insuring that Illinois moves towards being increasingly competitive in a continually evolving technological landscape.
And that definitely defines the "social good".
And as always, thanks for reading!