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Lawrence and High Speed Internet - Left Behind or Moving Ahead


thegigCity image

thegigCity image by Lawrence Morgan

Chattanooga - Way ahead when it comes to fast-paced Internet

Here is an important story in today's New York Times - about how Chattanooga moved ahead of the rest of the cities in America. They realized that high speed internet is part of their future, and they have it.


Chattanooga is truly the first GIG city in the United States.

Look at the following web site which introduces the Gig tank seminar for start-ups and new companies, taking place from May 12 to July 31st of this year in Chattanooga.


Background on Chattanooga is contained in the following website.


And here is the website for EPB fiber optics. Look through it carefully. We need these kinds of forward-looking executives in Lawrence.


The question is: will Lawrence have this fast-speed internet - much faster than San Francisco - enabling it to attract new customers, or is is going to be left behind, as has been true so often in the the past. I believe that now is the time to move ahead with the kind of internet speed many businesses, start-ups, and homes need, if the internet is to succeed, both for creating new businesses and for home use in Lawrence.

AT&T and WOW have no plans on the internet for Lawrence

It is also clear to me that AT&T and WOW have no plans for Lawrence at the present time. If they had, they would have their plans up on the internet. Their representatives are nowhere to be found in Lawrence, granting interviews on new job possibilities and on fast-paced service.

Wicked, on the other hand, does have their plans up on the internet - the ONLY plans for Lawrence on the internet - and they deserve to have first choice in whatever method is decided best for Lawrence. And this means months at most,to make a decision - not years in the future.

I am putting here the blog which I did a little while back, about Amos Lawrence Park and the city of Lawrence, because most people never saw or read it. The Journal-World discourages citizen bloggers, which didn't used to be the case. And more blogs will follow in the future.


With high speed internet, when combined with an attractive park - and I would like for readers to put up their shots of what "Venture Park" looks like NOW - I think Lawrence and Baldwin City could become ideal spots for internet development in the United States.

Volkswagen chooses Chattanooga as its headquarters for North American manufacturing

For its headquarters for North American manufacturing, Volkswagen choose Chattanooga. Amazon chose Chattanooga for a new distribution center. Lawrence would be ideal for a choice like the above - there would be plenty of jobs, KU graduates and city people wouldn't need to leave the city or state to find well-paying jobs. But they have to have an environment of innovation and stimulation. Does Lawrence have that now with its "Venture Park"? I doubt it in its present form.

City College of Lawrence

Moreover, Lawrence is way behind in its vocational program. For years, Lawrence has needed a City College, much like San Francisco, where graduates are not looked down upon by KU graduates but rather treated as equals.

The ideal situation would be, as I have commented before, that people could go both to KU for certain measures and to City College for vocational work, as well as to other colleges throughout the state, so that they could end up with a well-rounded education (including online studies, in order to bring the cost down and also to offer opportunities throughout the world), so that they could do an actual job when they left college, and yet at the same time learn to experience life through the arts and sciences. And they could avoid KU professors who don't know how to look at the future, but rather just their own little tenured area. How many KU professors have created new jobs, start-ups, and exciting things? I really wonder.

Lawrence also needs to develop relationships with Chattanooga, and with Silicon Valley - from San Francisco to San Jose. Because people in Silicon Valley are fed up with driving long distances (probably taking years off their lives), Lawrence and Baldwin City offer a prime example of what start-ups and development could be in a smaller town setting, where you can get home (and for much of the year, on a bicycle) without having to drive for 1 to 1 1/2 hours each way.

I will be writing more blogs shortly on many different aspects of Lawrence, including the new trails initiatives.

New library in Lawrence - the Nelson Mandela library

But I also want to discuss briefly the new library in this regard. One of my earlier blogs discussed creating digital small libraries in almost every town in Kansas.


What I want to do is to create a vision for the new Library, which eventually will have to have smaller sites throughout the city. The Library should be called the Nelson Mandela Library. This would be the first library named for Nelson Mandela in the United States, according to the research I have done. If I've missed something, please let me know. There should be sculpture outside the library, with images of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Langston Hughes, because all were pioneers in their own way.

It could open a connection with South Africa (which has growing internet startups - see memeburn.com) as well as other parts of Africa.

It could also create, for the first time, a strong connection with Chattanooga and with the south, which could be very important for Lawrence in the future. Can you imagine - a new sister country and a new sister city - South Africa, and other countries of Africa as well, and Chattanooga, which is an important city and area of the southern United States.

More Connections with Schools, as well as Home Study and Continued Learning for Adults

President Obama announced today that more than $750 million has been pledged by business leaders to bring internet technology, within five years, to 99 percent of schools in this country. I will take a look at this initiative in greater detail in a future blog, but it connects very well with high-speed access to schools, as has been the case in Chattanooga and could certainly be the case in Lawrence in the near future. This would allow schools in this country to connect up with schools in other countries. To start out with, I would suggest connection the BBC, in London, which has a tremendous number of online programs for schools already on line. More on this later.

Here is the article:


The first step - high-speed internet in Lawrence

Let's begin - with the creation of high-speed internet in Lawrence!

Free use Image

Free use Image by Lawrence Morgan


Joshua Montgomery 3 years, 10 months ago

When we proposed "Freenet Kids" in 2008, part of the project was a City wide fiber backbone that would have put Lawrence in a great place to expand. The project was bank funded. All we requested from the City was a loan guarantee. ( http://kids.lawrencefreenet.org )

Almost a year ago now, we proposed a fiber project that would have mirrored the success of Chatanooga, TN.

While the City of Lawrence it trying to figure out how to respond, the Kansas legislature is trying to make it illegal for municipalities to work with providers to expand access.

It is long past time that the City takes this issue seriously. Cities that were bypassed by the Interstate withered and died. Open access fiber is the Interstate of the future, it will allow businesses to thrive and give communities access to the global economy.

Please take a moment to support our efforts here: http://wickedfiber.com/communitysupport.php

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