The report is done and out the door... Click HERE for an electronic copy.
That final push, plus all the "launch" festivities, kinda overwhelmed me on the Task Force stuff. So this post is a little late. Sorry about that.
Mikey's Talking Points
- This is a consensus document. Everybody agreed with the language that's in this report, with one exception (John Gibbs (Comcast) disagrees with the need for an ongoing council). So this is a deal that we all signed (see Page 142). I'm "in" this deal and will stay in until somebody else jumps out. Does it represent everything I wanted? No. If you want that report, just send me off to write it all by myself. But this report is much stronger than that, because we all gave up a lot to get to this common ground. So all you readers, you keep an eye on us. Let me know if somebody from the Task Force slams this report behind our backs. Keep a special-close eye on us during the Legislative session. If somebody bails out, send me a note -- I'll have some things to say.
- Follow through. There are 8 reports that precede this one, dating back to the mid-1980's. We know, some of us have read them all, and they're all posted on this site. They're all pretty good. They all say similar things. Not much has happened. This may become Report Number Nine. We hope it doesn't, and follow-through will be the thing that matters in this regard. Your legislators need to hear that. So does the Administration. Most of the things we're describing involve ongoing leadership and collaboration. That stuff is cheap.
- This report might be useful in the national conversation. Many of you will gripe because this report doesn't put a chicken in every pot or fiber into every home. But this report represents something else. This is a consensus that includes all kinds of very diverse points of view and these words are washed smooth by hours of intense discussion and learning. Here's an example of how this report addresses national issues in a new way. Take a look at our discussion of the issue of Symmetrical Service (Page 55). Starting out, there were two diametrically-opposed points of view on this issue -- you were either for it or agin' it. We've come up with something broke the logjam (for us, at least) when we say that it's really not symmetry that's the issue -- it's whether you have enough upstream speed to meet your needs. If you have that, who cares whether your downstream speed is 1x or 10x as fast? There's lots of subtly innovative language like that in this report. So read carefully.
- There's a new model in here. Take a look at the diagram on page 57. I published an earlier version of it HERE and the model made it into our final report. I like this approach a lot. It is a way to emphasize the need for balanced action. Just building stuff won't work, just increasing demand won't work, just collecting data and making maps won't work, just steering and managing the process won't work. We need to do all of that and more if this is really going to make a difference. Everybody on the Task Force agrees.
- The report has very detailed suggestions for action. Check out the sections on Ubiquitous Broadband (Page 56) and Security, Vulnerability and Redundancy (Page 82) for some long detailed lists of things we should do and the reasons why. Most of the work we're describing needs to be done by somebody other than state government. Could be you! These are the "lead, follow or get out of the way" lists peepul. We do all that stuff, we will have moved the needle a LOT.
- Get past the sound bites. It was interesting to watch our careful work get reduced to sound bites during the roll-out last week. I got lots of calls and email. My response was "Read the dang details!" The report, and the people who worked hard for a year and half to write it, deserve that from you.
- Don't wait. The report is aimed at the Legislature, but there's absolutely no reason why you should wait for them to get your work started. There are some pretty tough goals in this report (the "get us in the top 5 nationally by 2015" speed goal is a killer). If your boss told you that you had 5 years to get your company from the middle of the pack to top-5, would you sit on your hands for a year and a half before getting started?? Indeed, the State is walking into a very bad budget deficit and it's unlikely they're going to be doing much but putting that fire out. So don't wait for them. If there's something you or your gang see that needs doing, do it! Do it now! Call us Task Force folks up -- you'll be surprised where support for your idea may come from.
Here's where I say "thanks" to all of you on and off of the Task Force who helped make this a wonderful experience.
And this is my sunset (taken a couple days ago here at the farm). I think I'll ride off into it.
Mikey -- November 14, 2009, from a prairie haven...