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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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October 8, 2008 8:50 AM

CampFiber's Location: Heart of New Silicon Valley?

We held the world's first ever CampFiber at the Travis Technology Center in Lafayette, LA.

From the outside this building looks like somewhere you'd go to pay your gas bill. It's unassuming, in the heart of an oil center, and until the last few years was anything but a hub for technological innovation.

Yet today, thanks to the expertise of developer extraordinaire Ruth Ann Menutis and the support of people like Abigail Ransonet, it has been transformed into a hotbed of activity.

There are a number of small startups and creative firms all renting office space. So palpable is the sense of energy that Lake Charles-based developer Jeffrey Lyons described the building as "buzzing" and lamented not having a flexible space with robust services available to locate in his area. You could seem his wheels turning as he considered ways to get himself to Lafayette to join in on the fun.

The building now has some features you're not likely to find elsewhere like the new media room in which we held the CampFiber. This space features a large touchscreen projector for interactive presentations on one wall, what must be at least a 42" if not 50" flat panel screen on the opposite side, and across the entire back wall a giant green screen. It was the perfect venue for the 40+ we had and could've likely fit 50 or more, plus a built-in kitchenette was essential to facilitating the setup of the food we had throughout the day.

Perhaps most significantly, though, is the presence of Ransonet and her family of Abacus companies.

As a reseller of access to the LUS fiber ring to businesses, she's got the building wired for big bandwidth connectivity so you can get basically any speed that you need.

But even more exciting is that Ransonet has built out her Abacus Data Exchange right in the heart of the building, where now resides the first ever LiquidIQ fabric computing solution in a broadband environment open to other businesses and individuals to use.

By bringing this kind of computing power into what will soon be a fully fibered community, Ransonet has planted the seed in the Travis Center for the next generation of the Internet to be built.

And you can't help but feel that this isn't hyperbole when you're in this building. There's something special going on in those walls, so much so that multiple people at CampFiber expressed a desire to get into the Travis Center so their energy can meld with that which already exists helping feed the phenomenal growth that I see clearly possible in this unique community.

It goes without saying that we couldn't have had a better venue for the world's first CampFiber, and I am forever in debt to Ransonet for offering up her alloted time in the room and to Menutis for seizing the opportunity to revitalize a building that is fast becoming the heart of the new Silicon Valley (or Bayou, perhaps).

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