DENVER, CO (STL.News) Today, Gov. Jared Polis released the Broadband Initiatives Report which outlines the state’s vision to create economic opportunity for Coloradans and accomplish the administration’s Bold Four issues through changing how Colorado governs, maps, funds, and deploys broadband. To support this vision, the Governor signed an Executive Order creating a Broadband Advisory Board within the Office of Information Technology (OIT) to focus on collaboration and coordination of broadband efforts for Colorado, and to partner with the Office of Future of Work (OFOW) to provide regular updates to the board on digital inclusion and literacy.
“All Coloradans should have access to the information and services only broadband networks can provide. Access to broadband can help communities access markets across the country and around the globe, help hardworking people receive quality health care, and expand educational opportunities for students,” said Gov. Polis. “That is why I called upon the state Broadband Office to partner with agencies and identify what is needed to ensure access to universal broadband so every Colorado community can thrive.”
The Colorado Broadband Office (CBO) convened an agency working group this year to provide recommendations in the areas of broadband governance, data accuracy, sustainable funding, and future technology. The recommendations informed the Broadband Initiatives Report and will help drive broadband deployment and digital equity while effectively using state resources. Each recommendation plays a key role in ensuring that Colorado leads the way for broadband deployment and innovation.
“The Governor provided the CBO an excellent opportunity for cross-agency collaboration and to align state agencies’ broadband initiatives and goals,” explained CBO Executive Director Anthony Neal-Graves. “Resilient, reliable, and future-proof broadband infrastructure is crucial for economic prosperity and connecting patients with the healthcare they need as we face the COVID-19 global pandemic. It also allows for students to learn from home and gain access to educational opportunities that not only enrich the communities they live in but our state as a whole.”
The board will include executive directors or designees from OIT, Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Department of Local Affairs, Department of Regulatory Affairs, Colorado Department of Transportation, and any other agency that has relevant projects and initiatives focused on broadband activities within the State of Colorado.
The Governor signed an Executive Order superseding and replacing Executive Order D 2012 037 and restating the broadband responsibilities in the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT).