PEI, has spent a lot of development money from the Feds on new rinks etc and of course on a new road. But other than the wages of the workers, what of this money has put PEI in a better place for the future?
Here is what Chatanooga did instead. They used their Fed development money to make the city, the best internet and most wired city in America. It cost $111 million. (Link NYT Tom Friedman)
"The majority of Chattanooga homes and businesses get 50 megabits per second, some 100 megabits, a few 250 and those with big needs opt for a full gigabit per second, explained Harold DePriest, the chief executive of EPB, the city’s electric power and telecom provider, which built and operates the network. “The average around the country is 4.5 megabits per second.” So average Internet speed in Chattanooga is 10 times the national average.
That doesn’t just mean faster downloads. The fiber grid means 150,000 Chattanooga homes now have smart electric meters to track their energy consumption in real time. More important, said DePriest, on July 5, Chattanooga got hit with an unusual storm that knocked out power to 80,000 homes. Thanks to intelligent power switching on the fiber network, he said, “42,000 homes had their electricity restored in ... 2 seconds.” Old days: 17 hours."
And this has meant that business is flocking there as are people who need the web.
"Chattanooga replaced its belching smokestacks with an Amazon.com fulfillment center, major health care and insurance companies and a beehive of tech start-ups that all thrive on big data and super-high-speed Internet."
As the web becomes the key, communities that offer the best connections will attract the best work. And for the web, location does not matter. In the industrial world, PEI is on the edge. On the web it could be in the centre.