Keywords: Social Media, Mobility, Technology, Public Fiber-optic Networks, Obama

Blazing fast Internet download speed is a reality in many cities around the world, such as Seoul, Zurich, Paris and Cedar Falls, Iowa. That’s right: Cedar Falls has little more than 40,000 inhabitants and they have faster Internet than New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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In Cedar Falls, the community convened and joined forces towards the goal of providing Internet access to the entire community. They built a public fiber-optic network that runs as a utility bill. Cable companies clearly do not like this, but along with competition comes progress. The example of Cedar Falls echoed in the social media, inspiring 400 million people to syndicate their rights, or better, to e-syndicate their rights.

This is the blueprint of the social media era — e-syndication, hashtag activism, “the more interactive and self-configurable communication is, the less hierarchal is the organization and the more participatory is the movement” (Castells, 2012).The author has proven to be right: the power becomes representative and every voice counts. Among many things, social media is an e-version of the old syndicates.

The repercussions of social media brought down many communication obstacles, changing the communication model that no longer works in the transmitter-receptor dynamic. It works rather like a biological organism, where once a threat appears, transmitters produce antibodies that spread through the entire system alerting other transmitter, that are also receptors. There are no more dark corners in communication; the information access is being leveraged. Who would have guessed the public would have a direct communication channel with the president of a country a little more than a decade ago?

Obama just announced two very important executive actions. The first one ensures Internet neutrality, a.k.a. net neutrality. Cable companies will no longer be able to restrict Internet access only in their interest. He proposed to the Federal Communication Commission that Internet should fall under Title 2 of the Telecommunications Act, which describes online access as an essential part of daily communication.

“Consumer should decide which sites they use, not cable companies,” said Obama. The president will also deploy a series of actions to ensure Americans have affordable and competitive broadband choices ¾ following the examples of cities like Lafayette, Chattanooga and Kansas City that have broadband nearly 100 times faster than the national average, yet still available at a competitive price.

This is optimistic news for both community and marketers. Higher Internet speed at lower prices guarantees Internet access to a larger portion of the community. As a consequence of the Internet inclusion, markets receive more online consumers, businesses are created and marketers will profit from new opportunities.

Communication will become swift, as mobile communication devices will cease being a commodity, to become an essential integration tool to keep the social media dialog going. Higher speed Internet rates also mean better download rates, thus more investment in audio-visual online content, collaborating to validate all the assumptions that storytelling would reach epic proportions in 2015. What will happen to text-based communication?

Cheaper online access also means more time spent online, resulting in more interbrand engagement and content consumption, but also more critical sense to prioritize content choices. Straight-to-the-point content will win the hearts and minds.

Society is changing — the physical world is becoming an extension of the digital world. It is getting harder to separate time spent connected to time spent not connected — the feeling of being disconnected from the online universe, generates an alienation sentiment. Everybody wants to belong, to participate, and to integrate. However, as communities’s connected lives get ready to jump into the fiber-optic fast lane, their-not-so-connected life — reality – becomes a mere extension of life. Thus, a new form of existence is produced “virtuality” (reality + virtual).

Dhouglas Carvalho has been working with digital marketing and online experience design for the past 6 years. Currently living in New York, he is a proud member of the CHR Group. Follow me on Twitter @dhouglasc

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