The results from the Readiness assessment act as the starting point in a participatory planning dialogue. They should heighten awareness of the opportunities and challenges of joining the Networked World.

A planning process should be undertaken as a true partnership among business, government and other members of the community. The process should encourage but not require participation from the whole community. Participants should be key stakeholders that might include local carriers (incumbent and competitors), ISPs, high-tech companies, business users, appropriate government officials, educators, universities, bankers and community groups.

Just as the other components of Readiness have been assessed, the nature and progress of the planning dialogue that is currently underway within the community should also be carefully understood. This is valuable whether a plan has already been put into action or if there is not yet any planning underway.


The following concepts should be kept in mind during the planning dialogue:

  • Communities at lower stages of Readiness can get ideas for improvement from the higher stage indicators. It is important to note, however, that the path from Stage One to Stage Three does not necessarily lead through Stage Two. Indeed, the absence of ICT development within a particular community may present unique opportunities for rapid ICT adoption and a "leapfrogging" of stages of Readiness. Reaching Stage Four does not mean a community is finished; there is a need for continual improvement, especially in light of the speed with which ICTs and their applications develop and change.
  • Preparing people is at least as important as preparing the technology they will use.
  • The importance of education in Readiness cannot be overestimated - a heavy emphasis upon incorporating ICTs in the educational system can yield tremendous long-term benefits by investing in the future Readiness of the workforce, society and economy.
  • Each community must decide its own priorities and resource allocation to get Ready, but it should be careful not to sacrifice long-term gains for short-term benefit.
  • A close working relationship between business and government is critical.
  • ICTs are constantly becoming more powerful and less expensive. Applications that may be prohibitively expensive in the present may prove to be quite affordable in the near future.

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