Mitchell named an ‘Intelligent Community’City is one of 21 finalists for worldwide award based on preparedness for broadband future.
By: Chris Huber, The Daily Republic
Mitchell has been named one of the Intelligent Community Forum Smart21 Intelligent Communities.
The ICF, a think tank that studies economic and social development of communities as it relates to communication, takes nominations from cities across the world every year and picks the 21 cities that are best prepared for the broadband economy.
Mitchell Area Development Corp. Executive Director Bryan Hisel said an application was put together by a nine-person team of key community members explaining why Mitchell should be considered for the award.
The team consisted of Hisel; Greg Von Wald and Julie Brookbank, of Mitchell Technical Institute; Joe Graves, of the Mitchell School District; Amy Novak and Lori Essig, of Dakota Wesleyan University; Roger Musick, of Innovative Systems; Larry Thompson, of Vantage Point; and Mitchell Mayor Ken Tracy.
“It is a recognition of a community doing something to increase their economics through communication, and Mitchell has done exactly that,” Hisel said.
In the application, the committee explained why Mitchell should be considered for the award:
“Mitchell, South Dakota, could be considered a typical Northern Plains Prairie railroad town, developed in the late 1800s to serve as an agricultural trading center.
“However, with a $21 million fiber to the premise communication system serving every business and residence in the city and three major communication consulting and software companies employing over 500 professionals, Mitchell is far from typical and well positioned for the modern information based economy.”
Hisel said with companies like CHR solutions, Innovative Systems, Vantage Point Solutions and Mitchell Telecom, among others, Mitchell has “a growing office industry that is really impacting broadband efforts nationwide.”
“We feel that makes us very prepared for the future of the economy.”
The ICF will narrow the field from 21 to seven in January before announcing the 2013 Smart Community of the Year in June. If Mitchell makes it to the final seven, a committee from the ICF will travel to the city to preform interviews and rate the city.
Some of the other cities competing against Mitchell for the honor include Rio de Janeiro, Winnipeg, Philadelphia and Toronto.
Mitchell is only one of three cities being considered for the award in the United States.