Connecting to Other Communities

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Click link for Business intelligence tools for families and community choices: Community Quality of Life for Families

The Resources from the above guide can be found here:

People and Data:

Maps and BITS:



Connecting All Homes for US Quality of Life

August 27, 2015

 Roles, Benefits and Revenue for Universal Broadband At Home for All Families, Businesses and Communities Quality of Life and Reduce Costs of Government (A charitable purpose)

Just like in colleges, high schools and in some public spaces today, local Family Services and Business leaders are working in “skill and innovation cluster” areas (either very local ZIP or school. library areas, or wider community college areas) to extend “basic internet for all” as ways to reduce costs, keep everyone informed and strengthen smart community networks,  This is similar to, and as economically vital as, the extension of telephone and television as parts of Steady Connectivity to every home, business, public place, especially so students can do homework and projects anytime, and so that families can connect with health, commerce and public services, through digital government.

Potential graphics:

  1. KeyPad Kid House plus connected community places
  2. 8 cylinder graphic for “all engines running”
  3. 3 data hills (supply company, consumer-business demand users, public governance)
  4. Community service assembly
  5. Community fair for outreach
  6. Smart Card in every pocket, laptop in every place
  7. Graphic of virtual infrastructure connecting “each role” with “Internet of Things” places (like streetlight, traffic and utility polls)
  8. Graphic of Business Intelligence Community Map


A. Roles

  • Family management units
  • Community businesses and enterprises
  • Public utility and governance bodies
  • Community Service Assemblies of families, businesses and public
  • Localities in ZIPs and municipalities
  • Counties and tribal areas
  • Community colleges and skill and innovation cluster areas
  • Regional planning bodies
  • States and digital economy and skill
  • State and local broadband deployment councils, middle mile and outreach networks
  • State and local family services, digital government, community responses for health and safety, and daily community business intelligence
  • Assessment centers for data social productivity indicators for community decision making and planning


B. Benefits of Demand and Supply Cooperation in transactions and data assets

  • Productivity for families, businesses and government from universal telephone, television and internet
  • Right of Way cooperation for public works and virtual infrastructure lowers costs of financing, construction, maintenance and impacts on natural environment
  • Data exchange among consumers, businesses, utilities, communication providers and public bodies lowers transaction costs and builds robust data assets to support middle class, business and local public services

C. Innovation and Opportunities for Basic Internet for All and Advanced Internet for Businesses, Community Enterprises, Public Bodies, Learning and Health Institutions and Monitoring the Environment

  • Basic Internet for all homes and nearby public gathering places through wireline, hot spots, towers and satellite basic services to every ZIP code, parcel and watershed.
  • Advanced Internet through state and regional networks of Technology, Innovation Networks linked with community colleges, k-12 and libraries, universities and research and development centers

D. Revenue to reduce costs to consumers, businesses and government

  • 3 level cooperation on Community Anchor Institution and Family Support Center roles in smart card era for health, education, family management, jobs and business, and transparent civic engagement in improving public investments and services
  • Virtual infrastructure linking all families, businesses, public bodies, natural environments and “internet of things” nodes provides “return on investment” data for performance based infrastructure and services




Communities Find Currency: Smart Grid assemblies guide Sandy era economic growth

January 11, 2013


How can farmland and prairie, mountain and seaside communities use National Broadband Plan strategies – today and tomorrow — to build resilience against droughts and floods, tornados and hurricanes?  How can broadband help build a resilient virtual infrastructure foundation for growth and sustainability of all watersheds in the nation?


It’s as simple as A, B, C:  (A) Building consensus on the ‘big picture’ of 21st Century infrastructure and natural environment challenges, (B) Showcasing understandable Low Hanging Fruit for productivity in local Public Works, Education and Health projects – such as the international Smart Grid  demonstration in Oak Park, Illinois, and (C) Using ‘Where and When’ Seasonal Calendars to nourish Community Assemblies and cross-pollinate Broadband-based initiatives in 7 National Needs areas.


  1. A Sustainable Planning Agenda in a Climate Changing World for 2013.  How do we work together on Big Picture payoffs and Next Step opportunities to meet national needs for Broadband?  A good place to begin: Discussing Sandy Responses – for the eastern seaboard and for all regions — plus policy impacts of Smart Grid demonstrations for Local Areas.


With Congress poised to make a $60 billion down payment on flood insurance and first stage community recovery from Hurricane Sandy, questions arise on how to use funding to rebuild in ways that will reduce potential damage from future storms along the Atlantic seacoast and elsewhere.  Members of Congress will be looking at how to repair the current damage while preparing all American regional watersheds with fiscally sound priorities and practical planning tools


The National Broadband Plan provides solid answers to these challenges, described in the recently-released book by former FCC Chair Reed Hundt and Blair Levin, head of FCC National Broadband Plan.  The book is called The Politics of Abundance:  How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream, and Establish Obama’s Legacy.  It highlights how tech-researched, consensus-based, and standard-of-living-focused strategies in Local Area places and watersheds can guide “savings and funding” initiatives for payoff-focused investments in infrastructure, services and sustainable watershed conservation, all  within local and national budgets. 


For “bedtime reading” on climate and economic environment planning for 3013:

*  See 2013 Letter to President Obama on Climate Change Human and Technology Tools by edtors of MIT Technology Review; Dear Mr. President: Time to Deal with Climate Change |

* See Superstorm Sandy 2012 insurance claims, and renewed interest in storm barriers “not built” as less expensive than the next Sandy ;


  1. Identifying Low Hanging Fruit: Iincreasing Education-Health productivity and reducing costs of Public Works and Public Utilities.


To understand how local communities can find “penny saved, penny earned” sources for smart investments  in the American Standard of Living–  today and tomorrow – it’s important to build consensus among a cross-section of parties about “where” are the greatest cost savings and productivity gains possible. Below are productivity studies and resources on Public Works and Public Utilities, Education and Health investments, including a description of the exciting International Smart Grid demonstration launched for 2013 and 2014 in Oak Park, Illinois.


  1. Energy and Environment Investments. It’s helpful to review consensus-based Utility and Public/Public Works investments, including intelligent utilities and reinvestment response for economic development in the post-Katrina-Sandy Era.  Calculations on economic returns can help Local Area Place (LAP) community assemblies and regional planners  set priorities on public and private funding, and find ways for utility consumers to save and invest, too.  Annual community assemblies in areas of 150,000 to 250,000 can help set priorities, implement projects, review results and revise infrastructure and service plans, all without bureaucratic costs and delays..

* See Utility Perspective on Rebounding from Sandy, for economic development | Parts I and II December 2012 ;

* See Smart grid and economic development, and consumer electronics and the grid |  January 2013  ;

* See Regional Planning Agency Perspective on investments in environment, transportation and economic development

* See Sandy Smart Response (Business Intelligence) Dashboard, and experience illustrating first-rate Communications Link for All First Responders Remains a Challenge: ;

* See wider Broadband infrastructure and service trends underlying public and private infrastructure and service opportunities:  Article on Top 10 Events of  The Year in Broadband 2012 nationwide and in Illinois, by Drew Clark, Executive Director, Partnership for a Connected Illinois, and chairman Broadband Census Breakfast, December 2012:

* Finally, see the world class Smart Grid Local Area Project (LAP) in Oak Park, Illinois selected as home of international Smart City project, with opportunities for connection with housing, businesses, institutions and public built and natural environments

  1. Digital Education Investments. Below are fast-increasing tools and services meeting needs from Early Childhood through Career and Small Business

* See the interesting links in “productivity” in education in the recent issue of MIT Technology Review.  Digital Education | MIT Technology Review.

* See Urban K-12 Digital Education Model Building in NYC.  See opportunities for elementary-secondary education scalability in urban settings  NYC-based $60 million Student Centered Learning curriculum technologies, forwarded by Andrew Pincon, Digital Workforce Education Society (working in school, community college and community centers in Illinois and Wisconsin, and Web initiatives around the world).  The NYC initiative grew out of Edison Learning Initiatives in New York and the U.K., . “.  Two videos with details on how they view education for a 21st Digitally Global Society of Digital Natives: Avenues, The World School Intro Video: and A School of One by Avenues’ founders and principal faculty:  Avenues is opening schools in London, Sao Paulo and Beijing



  1. Smart Telehealth Investments. Telehealth investments include health smart cards supporting local Healthy Lifestyles and Integrated Healthcare life-enhancing and cost-reducing products and services.


*  See projection for 55% increase in electronic  healthcare applications in 2013

* See “person to watch” profile of Illinois health chief Julie Hamos she implements major Medicaid reforms, using telehealth and integrated health initiatives enacted by Illinois General Assembly in 2012.  Harris: The Ones to Watch in Chicago business for 2013 – Chicago Tribune

  1. Where and When – Seasonal Community Assemblies and Calendars of Big Picture Events, Resources and Expo’s


How will local communities come together to plan and implement data-driven strategies in Local Area Places and Regions? A major tool is the seasonal (often quarterly) gatherings of community anchor institution, business, public, civic and community leaders and media to make practical progress on Local Area Project visions, plans, investments, implementations, evaluations, and corrections.


See below Resources and Calendar of potential Gathering Events to assist Local Areas in Chicago, in Illinois and in the Southern Lake Michigan region work on local region initiatives. 


For Mid-Winter to Mid-Spring 2013 – times for Reflecting and Planning

* Regional Gathering events

FCC Broadband Adoption Summit in Washington D.C. and Opportunities for Illinois Webinar Gatherings in Local Area Places, February 7, 2013 .

American Planning Association – National Planning Conference April 13-17, 2013

EChicago Symposium UIC April 26-27, 2013 Transforming our institutions, mobilizing our communities.…/echicago-2013-schedule-as-of-may-2012….


*  Resources


Digital Hub for Monthly Activities | Chicago Mayor’s Office

City of Chicago :: Neighborhood Festivals May – September 2013

We Are Not Alone – Chicago community media coverage of safe schools, safe communities initiatives among several print and electronic community media

  1. What are Community Assemblies and Local Area Places and Regions?

For more information about the roles and examples of Service Quality Assemblies and Regional Visioning and Planning Assemblies, see article What are Service Quality Assemblies, outline by the author.  Service quality assemblies are designed for use in annual activities for visioning and planning, outreach and showcasing, securing funding commitments, and reviewing outcomes and service quality of project activity (such as construction or program) and continuing services (such as education and career transition).  Topic areas including transportation/mobility, education access and skills, health care, public safety, regional economic development and environmental planning, planning for gigabit cooperation among universities, business and public agencies, quality of life indicators, government services and civic engagement, small business activities, community fairs and expositions, right of way and data exchange cooperation and other topics.

Local Area Places and Local Access Project assemblies normally convene community anchor, business, public official/agency and citizen networks in Community College areas (including local watersheds and utility terrains, library, school, hospital and public safety areas) of 150,000 to 275,000 in rural/exurban/suburban/urban areas.  There are 48 Community College districts in Illinois, serving a population of  12.8 million (2012)


U.S. Program Will Connect Public Housing Residents to Web


The sweeping effort is meant to help the many low-income Americans who have been left behind in an increasingly technology-driven nation to catch up.

B.  On July 17 the FCC called for comments by August 17 on Federal Lifeline coordination and expansion of home internet and telephone support for low income families.


The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Lifeline modernization appeared July 17 in the Federal Register.

C.  These initiatives underscore growing Federal-statelocal and public-private cooperation to grow the US digital economy and digital government, and including to reduce the costs and increase the daily benefits of broadband to families, businesses, institutions and government.  See June 10 comments by State of Illinois, Illinois 21st Century Digital Futures NFP among national responders to Federal Broadband Opportunity Council to coordinate infrastructure and service programs of 25 Federal agencies.

As universal broadband is at the heart of daily productivity in the world digital economy, it becomes critical to increase home internet connections to reach goals of 95% connectivity and digital fluency similar to universal access and use of television.   According to the White House report, currently, home internet subscriptions reach this goal for households of over $75,000, but home subscription rates drop to perhaps half this number or less in low income households and among public housing residents.

D. With this in mind, What to do in Illinois?   Under Broadband Plans of Illinois Broadband Deployment Council, following are opportunities for action on home internet expansion in summer-fall 2015.

1.  File comments with FCC on August 17 on Illinois experience with FCC Lifeline Broadband pilot programs involving local carriers and communities especially in rural areas.

2.  Develop Illinois, Chicago and other municipal public housing resident programs for home internet and daily internet access through nearby public computing centers, supported by housing agencies, businesses, community foundations and others, similar to prior digital literacy programs.

3.  Develop Illinois, regional and local broadband awareness program to showcase the benefits of universal home, business and institutional daily internet use in productivity in Illinois digital economy

4.  Prepare a workshop on Universal Access, Digital Economy and Benefits of Digital Government at Illinois Digital Government Summit November 19 in Springfield.

Connecting You to Opportunity: Civic Innovation Terms in Local Library and Community Areas