Broadband Task Force: High-Speed Internet Is Essential For All Counties

Alpha Stock Images - America’s history, the most prosperous communities and people thrived based on their proximity to infrastructure, like rivers, railways, roads, and airports. Today, reliable, fast, and affordable high-speed internet is as fundamental as acquiring electricity in the first half of the 20th century.

A new report from the National Association of Counties (NACo) Broadband Task Force highlights significant gaps in broadband access, barriers to filling said gaps, and charts a path forward for counties to address the digital divide.

Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice serves as co-chair of the task force, which includes nearly three dozen county government officials from across America and is focused on the challenges and opportunities facing underserved communities and the intersection of public and private sectors’ efforts to deploy broadband. Its goal is to create a blueprint for governments working to bridge the digital divide.

According to a NACo press release:

Recognizing the complexities of this charge, the task force focused on four primary areas of work: (1) Preparing for Broadband, (2) Barriers to Buildout, (3) Digital Divides, Digital Disparities, and (4) Future-proofing and the “Glocal” Economy. Each group was asked to make recommendations based on short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals.

At the MACo Summer Conference Tech Expo, an expert panel will discuss an expert panel will highlight current state and federal funding opportunities to expand broadband access, along with next steps needed to deliver high-speed internet to all Marylanders.

The “Closing the Digital Divide: Maryland Takes the Lead” session, hosted by MACo’s Information Technology Affiliate, will be held Wednesday, August 18, 2021; from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm.

The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 18-21 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Resilient. Responsive…Ready.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: