Hi – I’m Onnie Shekerjian, a city council member at the City of Tempe. I am also Chair of the Technology, Economic and Community Development Committee for the city. Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. Technology is very important to my city. I believe that for any city to prosper, the community must find what it is good at, know who it is, and embrace that. In Tempe, we know exactly who we are. We are a smart community – more than 40 percent of our residents have a Bachelor’s degree or better and more than 16 percent have a Masters or Doctorate. We have more than a dozen colleges and universities. As a result of this, we have a really unique community that likes to learn, to share, and to experience new things.
Another unique element of Tempe is this – we are a small city of 175,000 residents. We also have a workforce of nearly the same number. At least 150,000 people go to some sort of college or university here, most of those living somewhere else. And we have 4 million tourists a year. Tempe really is a large community whose residents only make up about a quarter of the population. Our workforce is smart. And about 20 percent of our employees work in the field of technology. That is a larger percentage than most other Arizona cities.
We are the center of technology This is a map of a portion of Maricopa County and the technology employment density. You can see exactly where Tempe is located based on the large red hot dot within our borders. We are the center of technology for our area, with companies like First Solar, Go Daddy, Medtronic and Monster Worldwide. Our community teams the vibrancy and curiosity of education with the problem solving tech companies to become a community of innovators and researchers.
We believe that it is important to serve all the people within our community. To help provide the kind of service that our residents, workforce and visitors need, we partnered with a private company to be the first city in the nation to provide wifi from border to border. The company failed, but Tempe still has a high number of hot spots and we still have the equipment in place.
Beyond just a high density of technology companies, we have quite a few companies that are heavy tech users –web design, social media and marketing companies, like Terralever, Sitewire and others. Terralever does the marketing for Red Bull worldwide, a huge endeavor that requires a lot of bandwidth. We have a creative corridor in our Downtown of more than 20 creative class firms – each of them has high demands for speed.
We value education in Tempe. Ensuring the next generation has every advantage is important to us. Our Tempe Elementary School District recently underwent a huge upgrade with Cox Communication that replaced a very slow copper network with 1G fiber. This also for much better access to students and those who work in the administrative offices.
On that same vein, Tempe has more than 100,000 students enrolled in more than a dozen colleges and trade schools. We have two graphic design schools that create video and a couple tech schools that compute all day. We have the nation’s largest online university in Tempe with more than 300,000 students. These students could benefit from more bandwidth and higher computing speeds.
ASU has its own needs. It is the nation’s largest university with more than 65,000 students and 12,000 employees just on its Tempe campus. There are five buildings dedicated to nothing but research. There are many schools, like the College of Engineering, where huge research projects are underway. Breaks in the research are forced when modeling computing is finished and long hours and even days of processing have to happen.
Tempe hosts the School of Sustainability, dedicated to curbing global warming and the like. Decision Theater is a 3D modeling building where the impacts of buildings and development are explored in the round with 3D glasses and the like. By exploring the impact of development and planning in advance, communities can make decisions to guide their policies. Tempe has modeled most of its downtown area.
Tempe does research with communities around the globe – and in space. This requires great skill in languages, science, math and yes, a need for massive bandwidth. Tempe was part of the effort to build the Mars Rover.
Many of the scientists and researchers on campus create spinoff companies with products that help the world. One of these companies is Kinetic Muscle, which has developed a device that retrains the brain and muscles after a stroke to regain function. The device is now being used across the country and is in the process of getting FDA approval.
Tempe has many companies dedicated to manufacturing, like Medtronic, which has a large campus in Tempe. Not only do they have hundreds of employees and machines relying on internet, they also continue to do research for the next generation of products, like their implanted heart defibrillators.
There is a huge amount of partnership between companies like Medtronic and our colleges and universities. ASU has set up a research park for companies that want to explore products and technologies with the school and independently. This 320 acre campus is home to more than 50 companies that are actively involved with research and ASU interns and scientists. This campus is a prime example of a location with huge bandwidth needs.
These companies are teaming together to work on defense issues and solar energy products, fertility and more. One device, the flexible display panel, is being developed to assist soldiers in the field. The panel is a monitor that could eventually be incorporated into clothing, monitoring vital signs on soldiers or displaying maps, plans and more.
We have a lot to be proud of, for sure, but we want to do more. We know we need to keep our community’s atmosphere tech friendly and provide everything we can to allow these smart people to keep doing the jobs that improve our world. We’re looking at more incubator space, smart grids, and microloans for small businesses, among other things.
But we want even more. We know our residents, our workforce, our researchers, our students and our visitors can do so much more if they had the bandwidth to dream bigger. The technological boundaries that constrain them can stifle new ideas, new inventions, new cures and new hopes. By breaking these boundaries, we can create what we can’t even imagine. We are working with Cox Communications to see if Tempe might be first yet again – we want to be the first city in America to be able to offer high speed fiber access to every building in our city. That doesn’t mean everyone would be able to afford it, or that everyone would want it, but to have the ability to offer it could change our world. I hope that I’ve been able to show you a little about our community and how much we value the future. I’d like to take some questions if you have them.
Fiber, Technology and Tempe, Arizona
Fiber, Technology & Tempe, Arizona By Councilmember Onnie Shekerjian
WiFi Effort – Tempe’s Commitment to Lead <ul><li>In 2005, Tempe became the first city in the nation to offer a border to border wireless network </li></ul><ul><li>400 antenna and radio boxes hooked to streetlights and buildings throughout the city </li></ul><ul><li>It was capable of serving more than 65,000 households, 1,100 businesses and 50,000 students </li></ul><ul><li>Kite Networks, the operator, went out of business, but Tempe continues to offer two hours of free WiFi in the downtown area and many businesses throughout the community offer free service as well </li></ul>
<ul><li>Heavy Tech Users: </li></ul><ul><li>1 mile Creative Corridor in downtown Tempe alone includes nearly 20 of these companies: </li></ul><ul><li>Public relations </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Web design </li></ul><ul><li>SEO/mobile app firms </li></ul><ul><li>Social media </li></ul>
<ul><li>Tempe Elementary School District 2010 Upgrade </li></ul><ul><li>13,257 students </li></ul><ul><li>25 schools, 1 District Office </li></ul><ul><li>Moved from 6 mbps copper network to a 1G fiber-optic Metro Ethernet network </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 600 simultaneous users now – about 200 classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>File sizes of 25 MB – can now send morning video announcements to all students </li></ul>
<ul><li>Colleges and Universities </li></ul><ul><li>More than 100,000 students are enrolled in Tempe colleges and universities such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Maricopa County Community College District </li></ul><ul><li>Southwest Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (states largest clinic located here) </li></ul><ul><li>University of Advancing Technology </li></ul><ul><li>ITT Tech </li></ul><ul><li>Lampson College </li></ul><ul><li>Rio Salado College </li></ul><ul><li>and many more </li></ul>
<ul><li>Research University: </li></ul><ul><li>Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University = Five buildings planned for pure scientific research </li></ul><ul><li>Several other colleges throughout the university have intensive research initiatives, including Ira A Fulton School of Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.asuchallenges.com/provides details for hundreds of research projects </li></ul>
End Global Warming! School of Sustainability doing research to save the planet
Interplanetary Impacts: Mars rovers partially developed through ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Save a Life. Research spins from university to new products and new companies. Recover from strokes faster, thanks to technology. Spin off companies abound in Tempe.
Manufacturing and Research Medtronic and other Tempe manufacturing firms rely on technology to develop, improve and produce products that save lives.
<ul><li>ASU Research Park </li></ul><ul><li>320 acres adjacent to freeway </li></ul><ul><li>50 research companies </li></ul><ul><li>ASU resources and access </li></ul><ul><li>Space available for custom buildings </li></ul>
ASU Research Park Saves Soldiers Companies within the ASU Research Park are working on products such as flexible display technology, which would allow bendable and wearable ‘monitors,’ solar energy products and the like.
<ul><li>Tech-Friendly Future: </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring incubator space opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Determining if cloud computing can work for our municipality to save taxpayer dollars </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot program for using smart grid technology </li></ul><ul><li>Energy audits to best use our resources </li></ul><ul><li>Working with banks to provide microloans to small business </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping Tempe’s fun, active, smart vibe alive – 150 annual events, hiking, boating, Broadway shows, Ignite and more </li></ul>
<ul><li>What We Want: </li></ul><ul><li>Border to border high speed fiber in our city – the capability is out there. We are close. We are working with Cox toward this effort. </li></ul><ul><li>We want our students, residents, visitors and workforce members to have access to the fastest network in the country </li></ul><ul><li>We want those people who are part of Tempe’s community to be able to change the world faster and easier. </li></ul><ul><li>We want to see the USA’s global fiber to the building ranking move from 10 th to at least past Estonia, Slovenia and Lithuania to keep America’s standing as an innovative, creative nation and to enhance our standing in the world economy. </li></ul><ul><li>To lead is to innovate. Tempe leads. </li></ul>