Investment in cultural and technical infrastructure is imperative if we want to attract and retain creative people. Just the other day I got to see my friend Tyler Hurst throw a fit because something as simple as lack of 3G cellular prevented him from ubiquitous creation. The creative class expects to be connected digitally.
I am frustrated that 3G service is horrible in downtown Chandler. However, I remain hopeful that when the new city hall is complete that an AT&T tower will go on top of it. I know that the city council is sensitive to the needs of the new economy as they have shown in the past a commitment to investing in the future. They understand this kind of investment is as necessary as providing quality roads and adequate water/sewer lines for economic development.
For example, earlier this year Google announced that it wanted to do experimental broadband in a few select communities. It got lots of feedback, but has yet to announce a winner. While other cities were hard at work lining up for a handout from Mountain View; Chandler was busy investing in itself, working to upgrade it’s broadband infrastructure downtown.
By partnering with Cox Communications and Cisco they were able to upgrade their wireless capacity at the downtown Chandler civic campus including the Chandler Center for the Arts. Additionally, the upgrades allow them to extend capabilities to other remote municipal sites like Tumbleweed recreation center. So sooner than later I expect reasonable 3G service to match!