Forbes magazine has named Raleigh the most wired city in America. The capital city ranked #3 in Broadband Adoption, #9 in Access Options and #10 in WIfi Hotspots but still moved up from last year’s ranking of #15 to claim the top spot. The study cited several factors like Sprint’s choice to bring their 4G network to the Triangle before other larger metropolises, several tech powerhouses like Cisco and IBM having large offices here, and the “combination of a highly educated and relatively higher-income population is “fertile ground” for high broadband demand and usage”.
Considering the fact that social media sites like Tri-Out, the city’s adoption of free wifi in downtown, and information based events like Ignite Raleigh and Pecha Kucha gaining following in the area, it is no wonder Raleigh finished this high on the list. The study also states that 71% of residents are connected to high-speed broadband which is quite an amazing number.
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Raleigh is the kind of tech-forward city that, innovative as it is, often gets overlooked in favor of San Francisco, San Jose or Seattle. But this year the North Carolina capital passed its flashier rivals to grab the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ Most Wired Cities list.
Raleigh’s win means it ranks higher overall than any other U.S. city in three measures: broadband penetration, broadband access and plentiful wi-fi hot spots. Taken together, the factors point to a populace that readily uses high-speed Internet inside and outside the home.
At stake is more than just bragging rights. As the U.S. formulates a national broadband plan designed to connect the entire country to fast, affordable Internet, Raleigh and other top-ranking Wired Cities could serve as models for change.
Though a surprise winner, Raleigh boasts plenty of technology assets, including a high concentration of info-tech companies, research universities and state government offices.