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National Campaign of State Broadband Roundtables Aims to Stimulate Local Markets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday March 17, 12:00 pm ET


CTI and US Connected Communities Association Join to Deploy BB Roundtable Events Across US

SAN JOSE, CA - Building on the success of this week's California Broadband Roundtable and one convened in Virginia last December, Digital Village Associates, roundtable facilitator, announced today at the San Jose Spring VON Conference that it will join with the United States Connected Communities Association to stage similar events across the United States this year as an expanded campaign under the Community Telestructure Initiative (CTI: www.telestructure.com). These gatherings of state market and policy leaders are primarily focused on finding ways to support community efforts to accelerate build-out of local broadband infrastructure. "Each community represents a distinct local market for telecom services given the wide variety of demographics, topologies, densities, and unique local policy priorities for access, public safety and economic development," said Digital Village Principal, Don Means. "The purpose of having these state level broadband roundtables is to provide both political support and practical advice to encourage local markets to assume a lead role in the planning and development of their own telecom infrastructures," he added. "One size most definitely does not fit all."

Encouraged by Governor Schwarzenegger, yesterday's Broadband Roundtable highlighted the need to support local efforts to deploy infrastructure by exploring ways to aggregate demand, streamline permitting, promoting competition and innovation. "Telecommunications is in the midst of a revolution. Broadband has become central to the needs of families, the health of our economy and the vitality of our communities," offers California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

California Senator Dean Florez yesterday announced Senate Bill 1803 that guarantees cities the freedom to develop their own municipal communication networks.

"Local governments should not be prevented in law from offering their citizens the best and most reliable in technology and communications," Florez said. "Rural schools and hospitals, in particular, stand to benefit tremendously from the swift exchange of information with leading institutions in urban centers, including the incredible promise of tele-medicine."

Other prominent governors are encouraging this approach. "In accord with the Community Telestructure Initiative, we encourage every community to take active responsibility for the design and development of strategies that promote local broadband deployment. Access to high performance communications technology is indeed essential to participation in the global knowledge economy," said former Virginia Governor, Mark Warner after December's roundtable in Virginia.

Hundreds of communities across the country have begun or are planning projects to enhance local connectivity, but thousands more are mostly waiting to see what will happen. The technology, economic and policy issues are complex and daunting, but the need to tackle them urgent. The IEEE-USA and other studies show the US is not even in the top 15 countries in per capita broadband penetration and is falling further behind.

"Communities have existed too long without referential models that promote communications infrastructure. Internet access isn't just for a privileged class of broadband users. Instead, broadband Internet access has become the blood stream where we learn, do business, entertain ourselves and become stronger communities," said W. James Hettrick, Chairman of the USCCA and Director of Information Systems for the City of Loma Linda, California.

"It is the express intention of the broadband roundtables to not promote specific technologies, public policies or even advocate for certain models of public private cooperation, but rather to build on existing efforts and help escalate support for cultivation of self directed local markets. It's their community. It's their market. It's theirs to value and develop together," Means added.

About the Community Telestructure Initiative (CTI)

CTI is a broad collaboration of public and private interests who pledge to work jointly and independently to encourage local communities to take responsibility for the design and development of strategies to foster broadband deployment. The CTI is supported nationally by TechNet, Public Technologies Institute, ITAA, IEEE-USA, & EDUCAUSE. The CTI declaration can be found at www.telestructure.com.

About the United States Connected Communities Association

The US-CCA was founded in 2005 to help communities discover, set, and realize communications asset goals through models, education, and the use of standards-based communications infrastructure to benefit future generations. The US-CCA is a communities-based organization with support from tcommunities, community associations, and trade/standards organization members across the United States. More information can be found at us-cca.org.

 

 
Facilitator: Digital Village Associates  
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