Proving the adage that great minds think alike, in a post at Blandin on Broadband blog today Ann Treacy follows-up on Ben Winchester’s work on the Rural Brain Gain, which I mentioned earlier this week.
The BoB blog is, of course, focused on the broadband angle, but this entry speaks more generally to how communities prepare (or don’t) for opportunities for growth. In particular, Ann draws on Ben’s primary research (in plain English that means going out and talking to real people) about why people move to rural communities and what they are looking for:
It turns out that broadband and the Internet played two roles. First, the Internet is a great promotion tool. One of the main questions asked of new residents was “How did you find a particular community?” And the typical answers were: “Family, internet, job postings, EDA and Chamber.” I think that’s a great lesson for anyone looking to lure the brain gain to their areas.
The second role was even more interesting to me, access to broadband opened doors to new possibilities. A community with access might make a move possible. A community without access might get left off the list.
To none of our surprise, in today’s economy people need broadband. It’s not a maybe, it’s a must, like a railroad in the 1800s and electricity in the 1900s. I’ll be a little more direct than Ann: If you don’t have the infrastructure, you’re just plain left off the list.
(Image: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)