Utah Broadband Center Seeks Public Input on Plans To Expand High-Speed Internet Access Throughout Utah

Kaitlyn ClarkeNews, Broadband

The Utah Broadband Center (UBC), part of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, asks for public feedback on the drafts of the Utah Digital Connectivity Plan and Digital Equity Plan. Comments can be submitted online through July 6, 2023.

The Utah Digital Connectivity Plan and Digital Equity Plan highlight Utah’s vision, goals, objectives, and strategies to help get all Utahns connected to affordable high-speed broadband internet and access to the tools and resources needed to succeed in the digital world. Both plans help guide the allocation of federal funding to the state for high-speed broadband internet infrastructure expansion and digital access over the next five years. 

Individuals can provide input through the project website or by calling (435) 264-8880. Following the public comment period, UBC will review feedback, finalize the plans, and submit them to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to receive additional federal funds to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure and digital access programs.

“These plans are a roadmap to provide all Utahns access to the most affordable and reliable high-speed internet possible,” said Rebecca Dilg, director of the Utah Broadband Center. “The funding invested in Utah for these efforts can bring widespread benefits by helping residents access education, healthcare, and other online resources that contribute to an individual’s quality of life wherever they live in our state.” 

Since November 2022, UBC has worked with key stakeholders across the state to create a robust five-year action plan called the Digital Connectivity Plan. Funding for the plan development comes from the federal Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program through NTIA. 

In conjunction with BEAD funding, a federal grant was awarded to Utah through the Digital Equity Act to develop the Utah Digital Equity Plan. This plan focuses on bridging the digital divide and creating a more equitable opportunity for all to access the digital world.

Jointly, the plans provide recommendations for expanding high-speed internet access, availability, and affordability to all Utah residents and Tribal entities.

The state awarded subgrants to entities across the state to develop local connectivity and digital access plans. Residents can read the local plans, provide feedback on them along with the state’s Digital Connectivity and Digital Access Plan, and view broadband and digital access resources here.