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Outreach Center Releases Revamped Broadband Availability Map on Fifth Anniversary

February 01 2016 - 11:14 am

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
February 1, 2016

Contact:
Kelleigh Cole
Director, Utah Broadband Outreach Center
Governor’s Office of Economic Development
801-538-8831
kcole@utah.gov

Outreach Center Releases Revamped Broadband Availability Map on Fifth Anniversary
The site showcases Utah’s “Fastest Internet in the West”

SALT LAKE CITY—The Utah Broadband Outreach Center in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) released an updated residential broadband map today, providing an enhanced tool to help businesses and consumers locate available services in their communities.

Over the past five years, thanks in part to the outreach center, broadband services in Utah have increased to the point of outpacing many other states. Utah holds the distinction of having the third fastest Internet speeds in the country and the fastest speeds in the West.

“Broadband is a crucial component of economic development in the state,” said Val Hale, executive director of GOED. “We want to support the state’s thriving industries, including the tech sector, and believe that our citizens will be leaders in developing the businesses and applications of the future.”

The enhanced site includes many of the features of its predecessor, including allowing users to view providers in their area by speed and technology type. Using the new map, users can also view broadband availability in relationship to where populated communities are located. The new map is also color coded by technologies so that users can differentiate between fixed wire and wireless residential service, versus cellular data services.

“Smartphone access is becoming increasingly important to Utahns, and the new map is color-coded so users can more easily find exactly what they want,” said Kelleigh Cole, director of the Utah Broadband Outreach Center. “Many Utahns are unaware of the various Internet service options available to them. This map provides exceptional detail and is a great resource to Utah residents.”

The outreach center works with industry partners to collect broadband data every six months. The team currently works with over 60 broadband providers in Utah. The map website was developed by the Utah Automated Geographic Reference Center, under the guidance of the outreach center.

“We continue to see our private sector partners make huge investments in the state which has helped us become a national leader in broadband access, even in most rural communities,” Cole said. “This infrastructure allows students to take online college classes, even in more rural areas, and supports at-home businesses that are often crucial to the economic development of rural Utah.”

The outreach center also maintains locate.utah.gov, a commercial broadband map, for business leaders and site selectors. To learn more about the outreach center’s complete resources, visit broadband.utah.gov.

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About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Web: business.utah.gov
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission. For more information please contact: Michael Sullivan, 801-538-8811 or mgsullivan@utah.gov.

About the Utah Broadband Outreach Center
Web: broadband.utah.gov
The Utah Broadband Outreach Center is a state program focused on mapping available broadband services and promoting the development of additional infrastructure in Utah. The center maintains Utah’s interactive residential broadband availability map at broadband.utah.gov/map and a commercial broadband economic development map at locate.utah.gov. The center is located in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and mapping services are provided by the Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC). For more information please contact: Kelleigh Cole, 801-538-8831 or kcole@utah.gov.