Thursday, June 30, 2016




This headline from a June 29, 2016 ZDNet article says it all:

"(G)iving everyone broadband is easier said than done."

The Stark County Broadband Task Team (SCBBTT) can attest to that.

The SCBBTT is conducting a first class effort in selling its goal of bringing 1 Gb to parts of Stark County in the relative near future.

A critical phrase is "parts of Stark County."

And therein may lie the rub in convincing Stark Countians to get behind the effort.

Certainly that will be the case if there is to be Stark County political subdivision financial support for the project.

Funding of the project will be the key to whether or not the local effort will succeed.

It is hard to believe that such an effort can obtain the necessary funding without some sort of taxpayer support.

If so and if large swaths of Stark County do not benefit from the project (at least in the initial footprint), would across-the-county voters support a revenue measure?

Well over a year ago it appears that Marc Schneider (Director of Innovation and IP, Aultman Health Foundation) got a discussion up and running among Stark County's business, nonprofit and government leaders.

And he and his fellow team members have been fanning out across Stark County ever since "selling" the project to Stark's movers and shakers,  to wit:  (per the current listing on the SCBBTT website)

Patrick Barton, City of Canton
Bruce Beadle, A.R.E. Accessories
Bob Belden, Belden Brick Company
Robert Brick, Agile Networks
Mark Butterworth, Herbert W. Hoover Foundation
David Devich, The Timken Company
Andrew Elliot, The Timken Company
Sam Falletta, Incept
David Forman, Stark ESC
Liz Getz, Aultman Health Foundation
Robb Hankins, Arts In Stark
Alan Harold, Stark County Auditor
Bryan Harris, Stark County District Library
Richard Hawkins, Timken Steel Company
David Kaminski, Canton Chamber of Commerce
Geoff Karcher, The Karcher Group
Kenneth Kohler, City of Massillon
Doug Lane, North Canton Chamber of Commerce
Vince Marion, City of Louisville
Daniel Moeglin, City of Canton
Ron Moss, Ohio Growth Partners
Daniel Muller, The Timken Company, Ret
Seth Peterson, Stark County Government
Scott Polin, Lightspeed Technologies
Dale Rush, Canton Local School District
Steve Walker, Niles Printing
Fonda Williams, The City of Canton

The SCPR talked with Co-Chairs Schneider, DeGarmo and Regula back on December 9, 2015.

It was apparent to The Report  that they had a terrific idea but that their broadband project had a long way to go and lacked a specific timetable detailing the steps to determining whether or not it was feasible for Stark County.

That is all changed now.

As explained by Schneider to North Canton City Council at its Monday night meeting, the SCBBTT has a plan of action in place to answer the feasibility factor.

Notwithstanding the SCBBTT optimism, as my mother used to say: "there is many a slip between the cup and the lip" or in the words used by ZDNet in describing the Akamai report that achieving 1 Gb broadband Internet is "easier said than done."

While the SCPR thinks that Schneider's "get on board" or "be left behind" stance is an oversimplification for what ails Stark County economic development, 1 Gb broadband across the "entire" county is certainly a key ingredient in developing a recipe to cure the county's economic development infrastructure deficiencies.

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