April 10, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Vandals cut 14 AT&T fiber-optic cables in four different Silicon Valley, Calif., locations Thursday morning, disrupting Internet, cell and land-line phone services, as well as halting 911 emergency calls, online hospital medical records, ATM and credit-card processing and more. The first notice went out on AT&T's Twitter page about 7:30 Thursday morning, and the company updated customers as the repairs progressed.
AT&T is offering a $250,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrators, and the FBI is involved. Several communities, including Morgan Hill, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz, Gilroy, San Jose and San Carlos were affected. According to media reports the vandals had detailed knowledge of how to access the cables.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.