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Digital economy focus of conference

POSTED: December 7, 2013 12:47 a.m.
 

Business and community leaders are always looking at North Georgia’s future.

And while that likely holds more economic development, continued excellent education and a high quality of life, those factors are enhanced by technology.

Technology will be among the topics discussed Dec. 12 at the North Georgia Digital Economy Conference, sponsored by the Georgia Technology Authority’s Digital Georgia Program.

The program’s first step was to map statewide broadband coverage in Georgia to encourage increased participation in the digital economy and growth of connectivity throughout the state.

The conference, which is open to the public, is the first in Georgia to highlight best practices in both obtaining and using high-speed broadband connectivity.

During the daylong event at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, leaders in health care, business, government and education will talk about how connectivity has helped improve their offerings.

Forsyth County School Superintendent Buster Evans said the “timing is right, the area is right and this needs to be an item of discussion.”

“It paves the way for both economic development as well as educational opportunities,” he said. “We are an information-rich community, so many of the corporations and businesses we see coming into Forsyth have a global footprint and they’re heavily in the information management and communications side. So to ensure we have the broadband capabilities in northeast Georgia is very important.”

According to Evans, the community has been quick to capitalize on technology and connectivity, but there’s always room to grow.

During the event, speakers ranging from students and educators to business officials will talk about how they’ve maximized technology in their fields. Also, a U.S. Army veteran will talk about VetConnexx, which offers veterans a technology career path.

The authority, which is funding the development of the digital economy strategy in each of the state’s 12 regions, is also working with broadband providers and local communities to bridge connectivity gaps statewide.

Evans said the conference aims to emphasize existing opportunities that support businesses and education, as well as to highlight some of the best practices.

He likened adding technology to building a highway.

“You see businesses and establishments build up along that highway and so they have created an information highway circling north Georgia and I think what we will see tapping into that network are both businesses and education opportunities,” he said. “This is really a flattening of the world as it relates to resources.”

 

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