Sylvie Albert (Laurentian University, Canada), Don Flournoy (Ohio University, USA) and Rolland LeBrasseur (Laurentian University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-771-3.ch011
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A new set of conditions for healthy growth and adaptation is emerging for 21st century communities. This book has sought to explain what some of these conditions are, and to advise forward-thinking community leaders and stakeholders about how to take advantage of broadband bi-directional telecommunications to assure a better future for all. The high-speed Internet has given individuals, institutions and businesses ways to more efficiently connect and collaborate with one another, locally and globally. With pervasive digital networks in place, the economics of access, innovation and distribution have undergone radical transformation. The costs continue to drop throughout the value chain of products and services. The instruments of digital product, service and content creation that only a century ago were in the hands of governments, and only a decade ago were in the hands of big business, are now in the hands of local entrepreneurs and citizens as well. Anyone with a personal computer can now be a publisher, and anyone with an Internet connection can be a producer, marketer and distributor. Ordinary citizens who once thought of themselves only as consumers of other people’s products can now create their own content and build applications that can be—and are being—sold and adopted globally as well as locally. The democratization of the tools of content and service production and the collaborative networks that make information exchange more efficient and productive allow for more prosperous communities.

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