Today the Utah Broadband Outreach Center met with a broadband delegation from China to present on federal and statewide broadband planning efforts, and to engage in discussion comparing different broadband planning strategies between the United States and China. The delegation traveled to Utah to explore Internet Governance and Innovation in the US.
Kelleigh Cole, Director of the Broadband Outreach Center, discussed the National Broadband Plan and various federal programs that fund sector growth and development throughout the states. She discussed the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund, the E-Rate Program, and FirstNet to provide examples of government incentivizing broadband deployment where it is most needed. She also presented on Utah’s efforts to work with providers, map services, advise on policy, and coordinate infrastructure development in the State.
The meeting was coordinated by the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD), a nonprofit organization that promotes global understanding between Utah and other nations. UCCD works with the US Depart of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and sponsors events and lectures for the public. Today, five representatives from China who worked in various tech-related positions in think tanks, government agencies, and private companies were accompanied by two US Department of State liaisons to visit the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. In addition to meeting with the Broadband Outreach Center, the delegation also met with a representative from USTAR to learn about Utah’s efforts to grow the economy by leveraging science and technology innovation.
Chinese representatives were particularly interested in Utah’s efforts to coordinate infrastructure deployment via public-private partnership, and also asked questions regarding workforce development and talent recruitment efforts by companies in the state. The Utah Broadband Outreach Center looks forward to future opportunities that allow us to learn from and share with other nations.