In order to spur broadband adoption in your area, communities need to go through a series of strategic steps to turn demand into adoption. This flow chart reflects these steps. More detail is given about the purpose behind these steps in the sections below.
Figure 1: Broadband Adoption Lifecycle
1. Build A Case For Relevance
Before anyone will ever consider adopting broadband, he or she must learn how broadband will improve his or her livelihood. The potential user of broadband must be convinced that it is something worth investing time and money in. Your community leaders may seek to address such concerns as its benefits, affordability, and convenience. During this phase, they may be researching different possible broadband sources to determine which would be best suited for the area and then describing the advantages of this type of broadband to you. You can learn about the different types of broadband connections here. By doing so, they are helping you understand how broadband internet can be a significant and relevant resource to have in your home or place of business.
2. Relevance Drives Demand
Now that citizens have a reason to want or need internet, they will be more interested in having it in their homes or businesses. This is called demand. The more demand that there is in your area, the more likely the provider is willing to accept the risk of investing in the infrastructure, since there is a profit to be made with so many people interested. If there is a high enough demand, there may be several providers interested in doing business in your area. In this case, the competition between the businesses could potentially drive down costs for broadband service thus making it more affordable for you.
3. Demand Drives Infrastructure Development
With a large demand for broadband and providers willing to supply it in your area, the development of the infrastructure, or network, that will be the basis from which broadband will be provided. Most likely, it will be a team effort between community leaders and the provider to get access to as many people in the most efficient way possible. This phase may take the longest out of any other phase because there is a lot of preparation and execution that takes place, but just keep in mind that mistakes cost money, so the less mistakes that are made and the fewer corners that are taken the less costly it will be to fix them later on.
4. Infrastructure Development Drives Adoption & Competition
With infrastructure in place, broadband adoption can start. If planning has gone well, then the new providers in your area should be able to get broadband to your location quickly and for a very reasonable price. A near infinite amount of resources will now be right at your fingertips to enjoy. Furthermore, because there is now a business for broadband providers in your area, these providers will begin competing for your business thus driving down prices and making broadband more affordable for everyone.
5. Adoption & Competition Drives Relevance
Finally, by having broadband in your home, you are then capable of sharing its benefits with others who have not yet adopted broadband internet in their area. Seeing the capabilities of broadband first hand through other users allows for further relevance building continuing the process of growth and progress. Lower costs due to competition also shares in creating a case for relevance because more people are then able to afford broadband without the cost affecting other financial responsibilities. This then creates more demand, greater infrastructure development, and more adoption. With this chain reaction-like effect, broadband can continue spreading to all areas of the state until everyone has access to it in their homes or businesses.
The Broadband Lifecycle was concieved by Connect Arkansas' president Sam Walls. You may view their video explaining the Broadband Lifecycle by clicking here.
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