The Revolution Has Just Begun
Once upon a time, it was just an idea. A vision of how a community could come together and chart its own future in the Internet Age.
By Lev Gonick, CEO
We are at the dawn of a new age. Our networked and connected society has challenged us. Be disrupters or be disrupted. Chart our own digital infrastructure path or be told by someone else what is good for our region and its future. Wait for enlightened political leadership or commit to actively educating our civic leaders. Wait for a next-generation fiber optic network to be deployed and operated by someone else or build and operate it ourselves.
Those are the headlines of the first 10 years in the project called OneCommunity. We celebrate those important challenges and accomplishments this October, our 10-year anniversary. We are extremely fortunate to have had strong, engaged, and forward-focused leadership from our Board. We are also genuinely thankful for the support of the civic, philanthropic, business, and technology leadership and engagement with the grass roots community.
The next decade will allow us to leverage and begin to harvest the hard work invested in building out the digital asset that is OneCommunity. In order to enable the fiber optic digital asset to become a genuine community asset, OneCommunity will focus on becoming a network-enabled platform for innovation and creative use. This means that ten years from now, we will be a very different organization.
The core network service offering affords us an opportunity to partner with our existing public benefit and private sector subscribers. In addition to providing them with unprecedented speed, availability, reliability, and low latency, we will focus on becoming an integral part of our region’s ability to deliver platforms and infrastructure as a service. This means more integrated solutions for data center needs, cloud services, collaboration services, and innovative partnerships to deliver next-generation needs in the region.
Our mission has been and will remain focused on public engagement and benefit:
- Supporting the region’s emergent entrepreneurial technology community through a start-up fund.
- Partnering with the social services sector, philanthropic organizations, and the app developer community to stand up a ‘public benefit apps exchange platform.’
- Engaging with our healthcare partners to seed platforms for the effective use of tele-health and tele-wellness across the region.
- Contributing to student success by working with the formal and informal education communities to become the best technology partner imaginable
- Re-doubling efforts to partner with cities and municipalities. Our unprecedented partnership with the City of Cleveland in the Health-Tech Corridor, coupled with our recently launched Big Gig Challenge Grant are just the beginning of our commitments in the civic arena.
Finally, over the next decade OneCommunity is setting our sights on two long-term arcs of activity.
We will be an important contributor to an integrated approach and national model for the ‘City as an Operating System in the Public Interest.’ While neither control systems nor sensors are new, the next big thing will be some derivative of the current hype around the Internet of Things.
Second, we will partner with others in the region in establishing a broadly accessible “Open Data Platform”. Our digital infrastructure is enabling the generation of massive amounts of data. We look forward to contributing to a national model of Open Data to catalyze the creative public use of public databases in support of community priorities.
Next year and the next decade hold promise for an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to the region’s renaissance and economic re-invention. I invite you to join us in the revolution.