On Monday, September 21, 2015, the Utah Broadband Outreach Center was asked to participate in a private roundtable discussion at the White House, in conjunction with the release of the Broadband Opportunity Council Report and Recommendations. Utah was one of four states (including Minnesota, Michigan and North Carolina) that participated in the discussion which focused on community connectivity and data efforts.
The Council presents four overarching recommendations:
- Modernize Federal programs to expand program support for broadband investments.
- Empower communities with tools and resources to attract broadband investment and promote meaningful use.
- Promote increased broadband deployment and competition through expanded access to Federal assets.
- Improve data collection, analysis and research on broadband.
The report details what the Broadband Opportunity Council has committed Federal Agencies to do over the next eighteen months. These commitments are to:
- Modernize Federal programs to include broadband as an eligible program expenditure,
- Create an online inventory of data on Federal assets that can help support faster and more economical broadband deployments to remote areas of the country
- Streamline program applications and broadband permitting processes to support deployment as well as competition
- Create a portal for information on Federal broadband funding and loan programs to help communities easily identify resources as they seek to expand access to broadband.
In March of 2015, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum “Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging Investment and Training” which created the Broadband Opportunity Council. The Council’s role is to give specific recommendations to increase broadband deployment, competition and adoption through executive actions within the scope of existing Agency programs, missions and budgets.
Click here to read the full report.
Click here to read the White House press release.