Why Do We Pay Others for the Right to Communicate?


Communications is not only about the ability to speak and be heard, but having something of interest to say. Communities are no different from people.  So, why do we pay others for this right?

Why is it that communities which are made up of residents, businesses, institutions, and associations, pay money to outside sources to communicate and to convey their information when it can be done within the community quite readily through a community owned open access network and a community media center

I’ve been investigating for some time ways that I personally, as well as from a business perspective, that I can not only lower my communication costs but maximize what I do spend in this regard in the community. How do I inspire my community to help me and in doing so, help themself? The best way is through a Community Development Cooperative, CDC.

So far I have taken an esoteric approach on how to resolve rural and remote community broadband. Over the next few weeks I’m going to take a more practical approach and just “git-r-done”. The basic community open access network infrastructure is already in place along with supporting technology.

What I hope to create in this website is a kind of “Community Empowerment for Dummies” strategy, which should be easily replicated in any community, rural or remote, urban or suburban. It will be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately this time the picture is not on the box but in our mind.  Knowledge and clarity of thought is essential and correspondingly the mind’s eye should be open to corrective lenses. Some of us start with edge pieces then look for color patterns and while doing so hope that all the pieces are there and the dog hasn’t eaten any. I would appreciate comments and questions as we go through this.

Being way too altruistic I constantly get stung by not addressing that obvious question “What’s in it for me?”. I too often trust others to take care of that for me, much to my chagrin. So, hopefully I can come up with a great answer and assist others who also behave like a trusting and loyal dog.

We have established a wireless network in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada where we were able to get spectrum more readily for rural and remote endeavors. I wasn’t involved in the initial phase of this. I had hoped to replicate the scenario in an Alaskan community as well as here in my community in Maple Valley, Washington. One of the challenges is keeping the politicians informed as I hope to form a community development cooperative through which a community foundation could be established for grant and local philanthropy purposes. Several of my U.S. political representatives are connected to me through Linkedin, but are not as yet members of the group “Rural and Remote Community Broadband”.  I guess that I should invite them and to my corresponding Twitter account and Facebook page.

Community stakeholders and anchor tenants are key to the success of a community owned open access network and essential to keeping “What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community”.

So, why do we pay others for the right to communicate?

Community Peephole or Porthole or Panoramic Picture?


Why is it that communities for the most part concentrate merely on broadband connectivity and not on their local content?  Correct me if I’m wrong, but there isn’t an overall unified strategy.  It is a piecemeal approach at best.

Sure there are community portals, local business association websites, etc., but more often than not they are hosted outside of the community.  The emphasis on local economic development or sustainablity should be on content first and then connectivity.  Kind of like establishing the best ice cream parlor in town.  People will find a way to get there; perhaps creating traffic congestion until better highways are built to get there.

Every community needs a focal point, a community media center, to maximize the use of local resources and revenue. 

The smart phone is very much like a peephole or porthole in the sense of its size and what can be viewed through it.

Think of a smart phone app acting as a peephole or porthole into your community, hence the term portal.  It could be viewing the community’s walled garden community portal.  Technology exists to facilitate this on a local basis.  The peephole through a community media center has not only the capability to become a panoramic view of the community, but an economic community catalyst.

So, you can have a peephole or several peepholes into a community, or a porthole or portholes, or better yet, have a panoramic picture of the community created through a community media center.

If the communication and cloud computing monopolistic concerns, or any want-to-be, were to embrace a distributed approach to empowering communities everyone would be a winner.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

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