|Chapter 9: Making It Your Own
For those who are committed to rapid expansion of equitable, affordable, socially and economically effective access to the benefits of the information revolution, the central challenge is to understand and act effectively in many different playing fields. It is as if there were a job description for a “Shared Access Specialist” that read,
Must be an expert in: telecommunications technology and policy; regulatory procedure; computing hardware; Internet protocols and networks; small-business operations; community development; health, education, agriculture, and business applications; economics of franchising; political theory of national policy development; alternative supply sources for electricity; and public-private partnerships.
Obviously, no individual will ever master all those fields, and no book could do all of them justice. The content of this book spans an incredible array of different topics, each of them relevant, and each of them worthy of a much more detailed treatment. In this chapter, we tie these threads together and try to show the relationship among all of the discrete pieces.
In each of the preceding chapters, we have included several sections at the end that are intended to encourage you to take action. To help you to take the next steps, we provide some tools to think about how what was discussed applies to you, suggest some questions, and provide you the challenge of identifying your own questions. In this chapter, we try to tie together all of these action steps, and present a framework to guide additional reflections and action. We mention, in each case, some of the major questions posed to the reader at the end of each chapter; you may find it useful to look back at the full list and reflect on how the issues raised in other parts of the book would now influence your perspective on that chapter’s questions. This is the most important role of the book, where you take the experience of the rest of the shared access professional community, decide what it has to offer in your situation, and apply it.