If you are reading this article online somewhere in Raleigh, you are part of one of the biggest Internet communities to be found anywhere in the country.
According to a recent survey by Forbes, Raleigh is the third most wired city in America. That’s right – we rank above San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and Boston, just to name a few other contenders. The only cities judged more wired than us are Atlanta at #1 and Seattle at #2.
To calculate the list, Forbes reviewed the percentage of Internet users with high-speed access, the range of service providers within a city and the availability of public wireless hot spots. Raleigh does very well in all of these areas, with both local governments (e.g., Wake County Public Libraries, where Wi-Fi is free to patrons) and many businesses contributing to the latter category.
As the city’s Chief Information Officer Gail M. Roper noted in the survey, Raleigh’s thriving entrepreneurial culture, technology initiatives, major universities and fast-growing, highly-educated population contributed to its high finish.
This Internet-friendly atmosphere assists Wake County greatly in attracting target businesses in biotech, advanced medical technologies and advanced learning technologies to establish or relocate their operations here. With most of the population already in place using technology in their everyday lives, business leaders find it a big asset when considering where to look for future offices and employees.
This survey marks the first accolade of 2009 to rank Wake County among the nation’s best. Based on patterns from previous years, we modestly expect to have many more to tell you about in upcoming blogs.