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The Utah Broadband Project hosted the first meeting of the Utah Broadband Advisory Council on June 9. The Council will meet monthly and will examine the condition of broadband adoption and deployment in the State of Utah and will provide the Governor and Legislature with recommendations and policy guidance. The Council will also solicit input and receive recommendations from broadband providers across the state on how to effectively reach these goals. Members of the Council represent a diverse group of interests including legislators, economic development, state and local government, healthcare, education, libraries, public safety and tribal entities.

Bert Granberg of the Utah Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC), presented an overview of the Utah Broadband Project and gave a demonstration of the Utah Broadband Map. He also showed the Council AGRC’s newest population map which was released last week. The map was created by refining 2010 census data and removing portions of census blocks that are uninhabited. This map can be compared to data collected for the Utah Broadband Map to identify unserved areas of the state—which is something Council plans to address at their July meeting.

Sharon Bertelsen, an attorney for Ballard Spahr, gave an update on federal regulatory and legislative issues and their potential impact on broadband deployment and adoption in Utah. Sharon spent 15 years at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C. working on multiple rulemaking, enforcement, and licensing proceedings and her experience is a great asset to the Council.