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It is fantastic news that Staffordshire C.C. has decided to invest in Superfast Broadband for the Lichfield and Burntwood area as highlighted in the blog on Lichfield Live here:


There’s a good blog here, on Staffordshire IT’s website which describes the sort of improvements that ” Superfast Broadband ” can bring to Internet speeds:


This whole idea of improving the internet infrastructure complements my own thoughts on the promotion of ” Silicon Crossroads ” ( as I have dubbed it ). ” Silicon Something ” has become a global brandname for a High Tech. area. Probably the most famous is ” Silicon Valley ” in California in the United States. Here in the U.K. we have ” Silicon Roundabout ” ( London ), ” Silicon Fen ” ( Cambridge ) and Silicon Glen ( Scotland ) to name a few. The Irish refer to the whole country as ” Silicon Ireland ” or the ” Silicon Republic “. Well, the Irish are probably one of the most successful European nations to take advantage of the development and expansion of High Tech. companies out of the U.S. and into Europe.

Whilst we hear a lot about High Tech. companies being located in London actually these are mainly relatively small ” sales offices ” and the bulk of the administration and development people are located in Ireland and perhaps Belgium or Luxembourg for “tax” reasons.

One thing is for sure: High Tech. companies in Silicon Valley are beginning to struggle to find the talent that they need. They have to look to other parts of the U.S. and abroad to find that talent. In a recent conversation that I had with a Silicon Valley based C.E.O. of a High Tech. startup he said that he would be looking across the U.S. to where his ” alma mater ” ( his old University ) was based and also to Argentina.

High Tech. startup  http://hootsuite.com/ recently highlighted that what had initially appeared to be a negative factor in their startup profile ( to venture capitalists and angels ) – being based in Vancouver – had turned out to be a blessing in disguise because they were able to find hot local talent at bargain prices and that talent didn’t want to go anywhere else.

Silicon Valley took a long time ( 30-50 years ? ) to get to where it is today. Arguably the preeminent startup location in all the world. Talent runs deep in Silicon Valley as this blog highlights:


The software engineers that are ACTUALLY building the products that we now know about over here – Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter etc etc are a secretive bunch and their wants and needs are probably different to a lot of people’s.

Internet ( communications ) infrastructure is going to be high up on their list though – from work AND from home AND in between.

According to this blog:


The ” Holy Trinity ” that set Santa Clara to be the right location for High Tech. growth was:

“Gillmor calls that infrastructure the city’s “holy trinity of success:” city-owned land and electricity, and strategic use of redevelopment funding.”

More specifically what made Santa Clara such a great location was the road infrastructure; the electrical power strategy and the general utility provision  ( electric transmission, water and sewer lines – to be built in advance of development ). This when combined with a financial strategy ( bonds being sold to finance development which increased in value dramatically after developers built ) led to Silicon Valleys success.

The story of Silicon Valley is a blueprint for success for Silicon Crossroads. Many of the component parts are already in place and Superfast Broadband is another one of those key infrastructure pieces.

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