How important is it for a city to have widespread access to fast internet service? Very important if you are trying to attract start-up business, says BroadbandNow, which ranks Flagstaff eighth in the nation for locations to create a new business.
The company considered cost, speed and availability of internet services in cities across the nation, along with other factors to determine its list.
City of Flagstaff officials are not surprised that Flagstaff scored high.
John Stigmon, president and CEO of the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona (ECoNA), said he believes that Flagstaff’s lifestyle is one of the reasons it was chosen for the recognition.
“It is very business-friendly, we have a state-of-the-art business incubator, a business accelerator and a university with 23,000 students. We have a lot of things going on,” he said.
Because of the speedy internet made possible mainly by two providers, Century Link and Sudden Link, many are already moving here to take advantage of the service that is about 10 times faster than in other areas, he said. “They don’t have to be in a workplace. It allows them to communicate faster with the outside world.”
“Flagstaff is first and foremost chosen by startup founders because we offer a lifestyle that attracts balance,” said Scott Hathcock, CEO of the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET). “Company founders that truly utilize digital technology as their core offering or service benefit greatly because they can remain untethered from the usual big city draw, utilize our city’s ‘robust access’ and live the lifestyle they enjoy. Without high-speed internet, this would simply not be possible.”
BroadbandNow’s mission is to guide the consumer to the best and fastest Internet service available in their area, said Tyler Cooper, consumer policy expert and editor at the company.
For instance, if someone moves to Flagstaff and needs information on the internet, BroadbandNow provides them a list of providers and their availability on its website.
One of the things that attracted BroadbandNow to Flagstaff is not only does it have speedy internet service, but the average business spends only about $141.12 a month for that service. The average in other places is more than $359, he said.
The BroadbandNow study also found Flagstaff attractive because the entreprenuer scene is supported by NACET and there are work spaces like The Nest that offer shared office space, giving workers a place to land while they build their businesses.
Cities ranking ahead of Flagstaff by BroadbandNow are Riverside, California, Chattanooga Tennessee and Richmond, Virginia. FBN
By Patty McCormac, FBN