Polk Broadband Plan - Page 41

POLK COUNTY BROADBAND PLAN These industries overlap, to some degree, with the seven “target industry clusters” identified in the Central Florida Development Council’s 2008 “Industry Cluster Analysis of Polk County”20 as being the most likely to spur economic development in the county. Industry clusters are groups of industries that are interrelated within the economy of a specific region. Clusters are typically determined through a specific analysis of the regional economy. The target industry clusters are as follows: • Life Sciences and Medical Services • Business Services • Financial Services • Logistics and Supply Chain Management • Construction and Real Estate • Research and Engineering Services • Agriculture and Agribusiness In addition, these industries overlap to some degree with the target clusters identified for the 5-county Central Florida region in the Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s 2012 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The clusters, identified for the 5-county region of DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, and Polk Counties, are as follows:21 • Agriculture • Life Sciences an Healthcare • Logistics • Manufacturing • Renewable Energy • Research and Development • Tourism and Ecotourism The future broadband needs of selected target industries are discussed in detail below. Maximizing the use of broadband across these target industries in Polk County will expand economic opportunities, encourage innovation, and improve efficiency by allowing for optimal connectivity between all sectors of business and making the best use possible of the newest technology available. Life Sciences, Medical Services, and Healthcare This field, especially medical services, is a growing industry in the Central Florida region. Broadband applications for medical services include telemedicine and data management. Telemedicine allows some medical services to be provided at a distance. Patient assessment and other forms of clinical healthcare can be provided remotely, allowing multiple physicians to diagnose, collaborate, and determine treatment in a shorter amount of time. Telemedicine requires the sharing of data and images, as well as real-time interactive communication. Broadband is necessary for this, and the use of telemedicine is expected to increase. 20 Central Florida Development Council (2008). “Industry Cluster Analysis of Polk County.” http://cfdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/industrycluster-analysis-of-polk-county-11708.pdf (retrieved Jan. 11, 2012). 21 Central Florida Regional Planning Council. “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2012: Economic Development District VII.” http:// www.cfrpc.org/CEDS-2012.pdf 39