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Nov. 4, 2014;

MSU News: ‘Growing the Broadband Economy in East Kentucky’ slated for Nov. 10


MOREHEAD, Ky.---The Kentucky Innovation Network office at Morehead State University will host a conference titled “Growing the Broadband Economy in Eastern Kentucky, Monday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Morehead Conference Center.

Everyone agrees that rural Appalachia needs a high speed, broadband internet network to create a new economy in eastern Kentucky. But once the network is built, how will it best be utilized?  This question is especially important when it comes to creating more businesses and jobs in the region.

The goal of this meeting is to tackle one of the hottest topics in Appalachian Kentucky today: high speed internet and the way in which it can grow our region’s economy.

The conference, which is open to the public, will cover a variety of subjects and also will show entrepreneurs how the web can help grow their businesses.

Web development: companies and organizations will receive a free web assessment to determine if they should be on the web or if they need to improve an existing web presence.

Coding academies for youth: Eastern Kentucky has a real opportunity to create an emerging workforce of website, app and software developers. Kevin Smith, a founder of Rural Up, an emerging software academy for youth, will talk about this organization’s work to get young people excited about coding.

High speed food tourism: New attractions focused on food tourism are taking root across eastern Kentucky, including food destinations, entertainment venues, farm-to-table models, trail towns and more.  Too often, these attractions lack a strong web strategy that can draw in customers from other parts of the country.  Jessica Robinson, owner of Print + Pixel, a web development and marketing company located in Morehead, will discuss proven models that link local venues to a global customer base through the power of the internet.

The Potential for ISPs to Grow a Digital Economy: ISPs (internet service providers) have a major stake in seeing the internet economy grow.  The more demand for their product, the greater and more reliable their customer base.  How can ISPs work to increase demand for broadband services?  Are there new services and revenue streams they can create that will bring new customers onto their grid? These questions will be discussed.

Thinking Big about the Space Economy: In Morehead, one of the biggest players in the high speed internet economy is the emerging space industry, centered on the Morehead State University Space Science Center.  Whether it’s building satellites, navigating them in orbit, or pulling data from them as they circle the earth, the internet is vital to the center’s efforts.  The space program also is beginning to spin off new businesses.

What is the potential for this emerging, web-based economy in a small place like Morehead?  Dr. William Vartorella, a respected futurist, will present some of his ideas in a presentation titled "Exploiting the New Space Economy: Cryptocurrency, CubeSats, and Atypical Consortial Alliances in a Rural Broadband Setting."

SpaceTemp: With all the talent that’s being developed at MSU in the space industry, students now have the potential to work with space science companies located anywhere in the world.  One of the MSU Space Science Center’s top students will propose a new business model that will allow these students to be a part of a temporary staff for space companies across the globe.  By harnessing the power of the web, MSU students will be able to bridge the geographic divide and ultimately create global connections that will bring the growing satellite industry one step closer to eastern Kentucky.

With high-speed internet nearly at our fingertips, now is the time to figure out how to use it to build a new economy in eastern Kentucky. This event is a good place to start.

Additional information is available by contacting Johnathan Gay, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office at MSU, at 606-783-9536.


Jason Blanton

Media Relations Director

Morehead State University

Phone: 606-783-2030


New technology might turn TV into shopping list

By Grace Schneider
The Courier-Journal

Long Trail Technologies LLC recently released a new product that helped cast the spotlight on tech innovation from Kentuckiana.

Bardstown-based banker and real-estate developer D.L. Chowning and partner David Bard are working with a team on RooClick, interactive technology that can be overlaid, or enabled, on TV shows, web-based videos, movies and even on a jumbo screen at live sporting events.

The technology is being developed to work both with a media player and in concert with companion app on a cell phone, tablet or other device. For instance, using the companion app, a person watching "Big Bang Theory," a popular network TV show, might spot an actor on the screen he doesn't recognize and grabs his phone.

After opening the RooClick app and clicking on the TV channel, he would see a photo of actors on the show and click on the image of the star he wants to learn more about. Then he can scroll through information about the actor on his phone, including previous TV and film roles, their Facebook page and other details.

The media player will allow people to watch a pro football game or local news show, and click on items on the screen, such as a news anchor's tie or vase on coffee table to get more information and even purchase items for sale.

However, that would only work for shows where the information for such items was embedded in the program, not for everything being broadcast.

The same technology could be used in classrooms someday, but its creators are excited about its potential to revolutionize advertising.

"Every single frame in any video becomes an advertising opportunity," said John Selvage, chief technology officer and a stakeholder in the business that he and Bard, a former Tech Republic employee, dreamed up while chatting at a Derby party 18 months ago.

RooClick's team, which includes site administrator Aaron McCauley, lead engineer Dan Clarke and chief operating officer Jennifer Hardin, has spent recent months building the technological backbone and rolled out companion apps for the web, and Android and iOs (Apple) devices.

Focus group members testing the device from their homes offered positive reviews, but the creators say they're still tweaking the technology before taking the next steps – adding partners, such as cable TV providers in Louisville and other markets, and launching a marketing campaign to familiarize the public with the concept.

Chowning and Bard have met with movie producers, television stations and newspapers which produce original content to test the device and gather comment. Media executives seem to quickly grasp the power of product that allows people to buy on the spot, said Chowning, who declined to disclose the initial investment he's made in the venture.

When they've shown a video to a newspaper executive or TV station manager, he said, "They get it. They know it's the way things are going."

Selvage, a custom software consultant and former senior engineer with aerospace manufacturer Martin Marietta Corp., said several companies are tinkering with similar technology but RooClick's team is in the lead.

"We know there are companies all around it," said Selvage, who lives in Middletown. But "we're ahead of Google and we plan to stay ahead of Google."

FCC approves order that opens door for better cell phone service in rural America...


A ruling on Friday by the Federal Communications Commission could lead to better cell service in rural America, Spencer Chase reports for Agri-Pulse. The agency said in a release that it unanimously voted "to adopt a report and order that it says will 'promote deployment of the wireless infrastructure necessary to provide the public with ubiquitous, advanced wireless broadband services.'”

"The order clarifies several statutory limitations on state and local government authority to review wireless infrastructure siting applications," Chase writes. "Simply speaking, this means local entities will have to be more compliant with efforts from wireless companies seeking to add or improve wireless coverage."

Jonathan Adelstein, president and CEO of PCIA - the Wireless Infrastructure Association, told Agri-Pulse, “Local communities that want broadband need to cooperate with companies that are willing to invest in those communities. There really is a need to encourage that investment and not discourage it, so those rural communities that open their arms and go out of their way to court that investment are finding that they're much more successful in getting broadband to their citizens.” (Read more)

Written by Tim Mandell

Posted at 10/20/2014 

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