I am thrilled to be able to share the draft report discussed today at the Broadband Task Force meeting. The final iteration of the report will be the annual report sent to DEED from the Task Force and includes recommendations for legislators and others. Much of what was recommended last year was put into motion based on the report – and with help from a myriad of supporters. So it is a powerful document.
Most of the meeting was spent going through the report. Hopefully the notes below will make sense – generally the remarks are pretty detailed. BUT there were a couple of higher level discussions that arose from the reading of the report.
Task members realized that there was a need to talk about the changing landscape for broadband – much of this revolved around affordability and wireless access. Wireless broadband increases ubiquity and offers mobility but the pricing structure can make it a much less practical solution for lower income households. Ironically, the “startup” fee for wireless access (which might be a smartphone versus a laptop) is lower with wireless, which adds another difficult dimension.
Also there seems to be general agreement that the state will not reach the broadband goals in 2015. The question is – so then what? Should the Task Force make recommendation for updated goals or wait until the Legislature asked for recommendations on updated goals. It seems as if they will wait until the request comes to make the recommendation.
Aside from the report we also learned that the Office of Broadband Development added staff (congrats Jane Leonard) and received 40 applications for grant funding from the Border to Border Broadband Fund. Below is the video update from the OBD…