Deloitte Principal and the report’s primary author, Mike Reopel, noted that the report’s recommendations include:
- Supporting the development of three New England subregions—the I-91 Corridor, the Down East Corridor of Maine and New Hampshire, and the Blackstone Valley Corridor/Quiet Corner—[using broadband connectivity] to create a supply chain between those regions and the industry and knowledge hubs in Eastern Massachusetts.
- Enacting new laws that authorize and support public-private partnerships;
- Creating a regional infrastructure bank that would address financing needs for interstate investments; and
- Developing a framework for collaboration that connects companies with community college and vocational schools to develop training programs that meet the needs of the labor market.
You can download the full report here. Our work in Ontario County, New York absolutely convinced us of the value of smart infrastructure. The county used the tech-based strategic plan we created for them to help build and pay for an open access broadband ring that links small cities with the outlying rural areas. It was originally intended to support existing businesses and other enterprises in the County. At this point, the ring itself has become a major draw, attracting information-based businesses into the County. It has also jump-started the area’s transition to a “smart grid” electrical distribution system.
A similar region-wide approach for New England could dramatically increase that area’s competitiveness.