New report singles out N.C., 8 other states for broadband expansion efforts

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – North Carolina’s efforts to expand broadband acccess to underserved areas drew praise in a new report that focuses on best practices being used across the country to deal with the fast internet access gap.

“[N]ine states are engaging stakeholders, creating and adapting their policy frameworks, planning and building capacity, funding and operationalizing their grant programs, and evaluating and improving these programs,” reports the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“While it is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for state expansion efforts, some measures that many states have taken are proving effective. This report identifies and explores these promising practices through examples in nine states: California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.”

North Carolina and the others “are using similar practices to close gaps in broadband access but have tailored them to their policy landscapes and needs.”

The practices are:

  • Stakeholder outreach and engagement.
  • Policy framework.
  • Planning and capacity building.
  • Funding and operations.
  • Program evaluation and evolution

Engagement is crucial, the report adds:

“States are actively engaging stakeholders in their broadband efforts to gain broad support and ensure that policy, planning, and funding are designed to serve all communities’ needs. These entities bring different perspectives on broadband challenges and resources to solve them. And they interact in multiple ways. For example, ISPs and local governments may receive funding to implement grant programs, and interest groups and lawmakers can be advocates for deployment efforts.”

Read the full report online:

Read about North Carolina’s policy efforts at this site, page 44:

Source: WRAL TechWire