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Old 12-03-2015, 04:22 AM
 
Location: James Island, SC
2,956 posts, read 2,637,987 times
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I know this is a promotional article found on some sub publication of Forbes but it highlights some interesting info about the tech world in Charleston. I'm not an especially high tech guy but I know there are some on this forum who might know more about the companies mentioned. It sure paints a bright picture!

I couldn't find a link to the whole article but this is an opener that will let you download the pdf version:

Charleston, SC Business News - Charleston, SC: Where Great Minds Are Moving to Live, Work and Play
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:59 AM
 
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Quote:
To support this growth, Charleston has been actively building a strategic infrastructure centered around residential and commercial development. The abundance of coworking spaces filled with tech startups is attracting talented professionals from around the country—so much so that the local tech and venture capital community commonly refers to the city as “Silicon Harbor.”
I'm not sure I 100% agree with this. Charleston has done nothing to build a lot of the infrastructure that tech companies look for. Network infrastructure and ISP offerings aren't where they need to be. If Charleston and surrounding communities really are interested in attracting these types of businesses, they need to look at trying to get Google fiber or rolling a municipal like Chattanooga.

Educationally, the computer science degrees are lacking as well. Training for Information Security is even weaker. If Charleston wants to be a tech leader, it needs to invest in education centers for technology just like it needed to for Aerospace. Getting a local school to offer the NSA Info Sec curriculum would be a easy place to start: https://www.nsa.gov/ia/academic_outr...ae/index.shtml. The article claims that we're offering that now through the College of Charleston.. let's not kid ourselves on how good that program really is. We've worked with interns from the local offerings... nice kids, not well trained and typically have no knowledge of the frameworks and managing IT in a business. If you really want to be a tech center, you need higher education in the area that can compete with the GA Tech's.

Having a handful of successful tech companies in your city doesn't make you the tech hub of the South. It's a nice puff piece, but I don't feel it's really realistic.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:34 AM
 
Location: North Charleston, SC
295 posts, read 200,921 times
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Totally agree on education.

Just a technical note on infrastructure (you may know this already IsNull):

Small tech companies have access to TW Business, Comcast Business, and AT&T Business which allows you to scale your speeds and priority. They don't have the same residential plans as most of us use. You can also negotiate just like most business contracts. These are all backboned on fiber networks (all have access to Tier 2 and Tier 3 connections).

Large tech companies can do the same if their needs are lower, but most opt for a direct fiber connection that is more expensive but needed for bandwidth and priority. For example, I'm guessing Google already has a direct fiber connection (2+ probably for coloation).

When people are talking about residential or small business direct fiber access, they're talking about Tier 1 Fiber providers (e.g., Google Fiber).

But I agree and think the article insinuates that the Charleston area is actively building Tier 1 fiber connectivity.

Also, I think they insinuate that there are a ton of tech incubators (shared workspaces). I only know of Flagship 1, Flagship 2, and Pacific Box and Crate Co. Are there others out there?
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:39 AM
 
44 posts, read 34,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagineskyscrapers View Post
Totally agree on education.
Also, I think they insinuate that there are a ton of tech incubators (shared workspaces). I only know of Flagship 1, Flagship 2, and Pacific Box and Crate Co. Are there others out there?
As far as shared workspaces go Local Works is a big one, there's also Innolabs, Lowcountry Innovation Center and the Harbor Entrepreneur Center.

As far as incubators go the Jericho guys just launched the Avondale Incubator, I think the CDC has an incubator as well, the SCRA might have one with MUSC but I'm not positive and then there's the Harbor Accelerator.

I'm sure I missed a few but yeah, for a big town/small city, there's a decent amount.

We REALLY need Fiber to happen though...
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:50 AM
 
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Yes those business class infrastructure exists, but are incredibly expensive due to lack of competition. Offerings from things like Google fiber are a fraction of the cost for substantially superior service. But the city has to be willing to make us attractive to Google to entice them to come.

If you want to attract IT business, you need to be able to offer reliable.. inexpensive... and high power internet infrastructure and Charleston doesn't have it. Things like THIS help you move forward in the Tech world. 1 GB bi directional fiber for less than $100/month.

You understand that tier 3 providers are the smallest. Things like WISPS or other local ISPs fall into this category. Comcast itself is a tier 2, ATT and Verizon being tier 1 as they control major backbone legs of the internet and connect to other Tier 1 providers at no cost. Google depending on where it is peers to directly to tier 1 or via a Tier 2, but has been aggressively purchasing dark fiber to become their own Tier 1 source. The tiers themselves really are more about how much of your data has to transact payed for peering locations than anything else. The more you have to pay for peering, the lower the tier provider you are.
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:24 AM
 
Location: North Charleston, SC
295 posts, read 200,921 times
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I'd be curious to know just how expensive it is to run fiber downtown. It's easier to set up things out in the developing burbs, but this old historic neighborhoods with "dens" underground...

I wonder if there are any articles out there on the underground line shafts (that aren't about flooding downtown).
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:11 AM
 
Location: James Island, SC
2,956 posts, read 2,637,987 times
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Just to demonstrate my lack of technical prowess, I just keyed out a long post with questions here but when I went to post it, the "token had expired" and the post was lost. Not enough time to re-create it, but two of the questions...

How likely is it that Google fiber would be implemented in Charleston?

How important is it for Charleston to have quality high tech education in place? I thought the idea was that were were attracting many techies (both workers and entrepreneurs) to our city from elsewhere. Is it necessary to have "home grown" IT workers?

Because I'm not involved in the tech industry, I'm susceptible to the "puffery" of such articles as this one. I appreciate the opinions/thoughts of the posters here. It helps to get a dose of reality injected into the picture!
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:43 AM
 
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The likelihood is improved, I'd image, because we have Google data centers here. But much of it is about the city/town doing the survey work for Google and streamlining the easement regulation to allow them to come in and lay the fiber.

It's very important to have quality local education options just like in every industry. You don't want to import 100% of your workforce as that's a large expense, especially when you're trying to entice businesses to locate to your market. You want to show how you can lower their costs. Having infrastructure in place they use plus a trained workforce are huge factors. This is why they are creating the Aerospace education services for Boeing.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:04 AM
 
22,770 posts, read 25,182,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LocalHero View Post
How likely is it that Google fiber would be implemented in Charleston?
Basically the municipal, county and state governments need to fully cooperate with Google in every respect. In some cases change state law and county/city ordinances to undo some of the anti-competitive laws pushed by the incumbent cable companies, or the water, telephone, electric companies.

The laws governing right-of-ways are a huge deal. Also funding for cities/counties needs to be such that they are technologically competent enough to know the precise location of their assets, and have the willingness to share them with google for free -- it's a long, long list. But that's why cities like Raleigh and Austin, with well-paid, technologically competent, flexible, willing, non-union local governments are often the winners. You need a grassroots effort among government employees as well as a backing from elected officials.

It helps if you already have a certain standard of municipal infrastructure where they can run their cables already, or if there is existing fiber that they can lease. So old downtowns with confusing, patchwork underground infrastructure are not what Google is looking for. If they come here I wouldn't be surprised if they skipped downtown.

https://fiber.storage.googleapis.com...ist2-24-14.pdf

Last edited by le roi; 12-04-2015 at 07:25 AM..
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:15 AM
 
3,034 posts, read 2,915,073 times
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But places like North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and West Ashley could easily be. The Charleston metro area is more than just the peninsula. The list really isn't that long, but you're correct about the right-of-ways and asset location information.
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