Edwards explores broadband solutions in new book

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The talk of broadband telecommunications has certainly increased in the last months, as the federal economic stimulus has promised grant money for its expansion.

Coincidentally, that came at just the same time Troy University’s Judson Edwards published his first book on the subject: “Digital Deliverance.”

In “Digital Deliverance – Dragging Rural America Kicking and Screaming into the Information Economy,” Edwards provides economic developers and policy makers with a practical way to apply technology in rural communities for economic benefits.

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“This was before the stimulus package, but at the time they started letting grants is when my book published,” Edwards said. “So it couldn’t of been better timing.”

Edwards said his book-writing started three years ago when he was working in Mississippi.

“What I found was everyone was looking for broadband to save these areas,” Edwards said. “Once there is access to technology, where was going to be the economic answer to all their problems.”

But Edwards said that wasn’t really the answer he found to hold true.

“When it comes to economic development, there’s a tendency in any state to take the money and spread it out. What I wanted to develop was a quantitative model, where two to three top communities in the state that have potential (get funded).”

And in the second part of his book, Edwards explains how at a local level and a state level to make the most of broadband technology.

Edwards didn’t just stay in southeast America to make these claims.

He traveled as far as Ireland and North Dakota to research economic development before making his book final.

“It was a lot more work than I ever thought,” Edwards said. “It took a year to try to get it finalized.”

Now that the book is published by University Press of America, Edwards said he has used his book in class and been spreading it around the state.

While his book is intended mainly for economic developers and policy makers, Edwards wrote for the common audience.

He will hold a book signing from 2 to 3 p.m. today at Troy University’s Barnes & Noble.