In Huntsville and North Alabama, we're all about networks, whether they be computer networks or nature trail networks.
After our successful "What works: Regionalism" public forum held May 28 at the AL.com hub downtown in partnership with Leadership Huntsville/Madison County, we posted a couple of unscientific polls on AL.com asking readers what projects from our brainstorming sessions they liked the most.
One poll listed projects our brainstorming groups deemed most exciting, from countywide broadband Internet to a revolving river restaurant or a major regional planetarium. The other poll listed projects deemed most achievable, including a greenways network across North Alabama, an amphitheater at Ditto Landing or redeveloping Madison Square Mall into a business incubator.
The top vote getter for most exciting idea? Developing a high-speed Internet network across Madison County. That idea got 40 percent of the nearly 1,200 votes in our AL.com poll.
The top voter getter for most achievable idea? A North Alabama greenways network, dubbed the "emerald necklace" by our energetic and creative brainstormers. That one got 34 percent of more than 800 votes cast.
Now we'll delve deeper into to those ideas. First, AL.com technology reporter Lee Roop will look into the what it would take to build a high-speed Internet network across Alabama, which will include a look at Chattanooga's 1-gig per second public fiber network, which is already gaining our neighboring city national attention and boosting economic development.
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