Legislative Committee Hears Project Updates

Pete CodellaBroadband

On October 17, the Utah Broadband Project testified before the Utah State Legislature’s Public Utilities and Technology Interim Committee to present updates on broadband deployment in Utah and recommendations from the first official report of the Utah Broadband Advisory Council.

Tara Thue reported that only a fraction of one percent of Utah households lack access to basic consumer broadband services.  Furthermore, at the higher rates of 10 Mbps down/3 Mbps up, roughly 95% of households are served.  We would consider these speeds adequate for performing more advanced functions such as two-way video conferencing, streaming HD video content, or running multiple Internet-based application simultaneously. Taking it a step further, approximately 85% of Utah households are served at speeds of 25 Mbps down/10 Mbps up.  With these higher speeds, consumer could manage very fast file transfers, two-way HD video conferencing or streaming live audio/video.  Thue also described how the Project works with broadband providers to gather data regarding speed and availability.

Bert Granberg gave the Committee updates on several maps and data points regarding broadband availability in Utah. The Project Team recently compared factors such as rurality and economic need, to the highest available wireline speed in each community, along with maps showing broadband availability by speed and technology type. He also presented a map showing the maximum advertised download speeds for mobile broadband in Utah, using the speed range classes established for the NTIA’s State Broadband Initiative and marketing classifications, such as 3G, 4G, etc.

The presentation wrapped up with an update on the recommendations of the Utah Broadband Advisory Council from their inaugural Report.

Click here to listen to an audio recording of the presentation on the Utah Legislature’s website.