Earlier this June, The Utah Broadband Advisory Council celebrated its 5th Anniversary. Since 2011, stakeholders across Utah have proven that unprecedented partnerships are central to economic development in Utah as we’ve met to promote broadband expansion. Council members are helping ensure that businesses and residents have the services they need to participate in a smart and growing economy.
The Council was formed as a forum for broadband stakeholders in Utah to discuss the status of broadband adoption and deployment across the state. Initially, the Council included stakeholders in economic development, state and local government, education, health care, technology-related businesses, tribal entities, transportation, and public safety. Soon after its inception, the Council grew to include broadband providers, recognizing the importance of industry collaboration.
In those years, we’ve seen changes to many programs including E-Rate funding (which helps provide broadband funding for schools and libraries), the Connect America fund (providing funding to rural areas) and spectrum allocation, just to name a few. The presentations over the years have demonstrated how broadband impacts almost every area of the economy and many partnerships have formed between our members over the years. We’ve seen our members support each other to deploy projects or just to give advice in their area of expertise.
We’ve also seen members move on to new and exciting career and personal opportunities. Several of them have continued to participate with us in their new roles.
Our office is proud to have so many participants join us to help improve services to all Utah residents. We’ve seen significant speed upgrades and deployments to unserved areas by our partners and we know that these projects will benefit Utahns in the years to come.
In the last year alone, approximately 31 broadband providers and related businesses, 13 state agencies, four federal agencies, five nonprofits/member organizations, and a few members of the Utah State Legislature participated in the Broadband Advisory Council. Participating agencies and businesses have stayed remarkably consistent in attending these meetings and we are continually looking for content and discussions to promote broadband expansion in Utah.
Advisory Council Meetings are open to the public. Interested stakeholders can visit the Council homepage to track upcoming meetings and review past meeting minutes and materials. The next Broadband Advisory Council Meeting will be held September 7, 2016 in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development at 10:00 AM.
The Broadband Outreach Center wishes to thank the Advisory Council for making Utah a great place to work, play and connect.
The Utah Broadband Advisory Council Team