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National Association of Counties broadband task force report spotlights nationwide need for high-speed internet

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Thu, Jul 15th 2021 07:40 pm

Erie County’s ErieNet broadband plan in alignment with NACo recommendations

√ Report notes importance of open ‘middle mile’ systems, need to eliminate nation’s digital divide, plan for future growth and needs

The National Association of Counties (NACo) broadband task force recently released its report on the need for high-speed broadband infrastructure nationwide, urging a national focus to drive investment and innovation in order to promote equity and inclusivity while overcoming limitations and barriers to broadband access. The task force report, “High-Speed Internet is Essential for all Counties,” focuses on four primary areas: preparing for broadband, barriers to buildout, digital divides and digital disparities, and future-proofing and the “global” economy.

Erie County Deputy Budget Director Benjamin Swanekamp is a member of the task force and was closely involved with the report’s development.

“The NACo broadband task force was focused on the limitations and barriers that currently inhibit equitable access to true high-speed broadband, with a focus on future-proofing while working to build up capacity as quickly as possible,” he said. “With major federal investments in broadband infrastructure on the way, we need to ensure dollars are spent on technology that won’t be obsolete in five years. The task force strongly recommends the design of broadband systems that are scalable up to 1Gbps symmetrical, and focusing on local community engagement and partnerships when building out broadband infrastructure. The report also notes the importance of ‘middle mile’ systems, such as our ErieNet plan, in increasing competition and improving affordability and access.”

The NACo broadband task force report can be read HERE.

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