State Broadband Task Forces, Commissions or Authorities and Other Broadband Resources
Current/Active Broadband Task Forces, Commissions, or Authorities | Previous/Inactive Broadband Task Forces, Commissions, or Authorities | NCSL Contacts
Updated: Dec. 2014
All 50 states have created either a task force, commission, or broadband project. Some states have created programs to identify underserved and unserved areas through online public mapping websites, while others have established task forces or commissions to provide input on the development of a statewide broadband framework and promote public-private sector participation. At least 14 states have enacted these initiatives and authorities through legislation.
Current/Active Broadband Task Forces, Commissions, or Authorities
Jump to (first letter of state): A C D F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W
Alabama Broadband Initiative
In May 2008, Governor Bob Riley signed Executive Order #42 creating the Alabama Broadband Initiative (ALBI). This effort was launched to extend the benefits of advanced broadband technology to every community in the state through collaborative partnerships with governmental and private sector stakeholders. The scope of this project includes broadband research, mapping, deployment and adoption across all 67 counties of the state. ALBI will contract with an organization to implement a statewide deployment strategy and adoption effort to ensure ubiquitous access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet service. The effort will also improve technology literacy, increase computer ownership and use among residents and businesses, establish local grassroots technology teams to improve technology use across multiple community sectors, and create an environment that fosters broadband access and technology investment.
ConnectingALABAMA is a statewide-initiative launched in 2008 under the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to promote the deployment and adoption of broadband internet access across Alabama as part of the Alabama Broadband Initiative. The goal of the project is to provide mapping of where broadband service is available, as well as to work with state leaders to develop a strategy for broadband deployment in Alabama. The ConnectingALABAMA team is also working with State and Regional Broadband Action Teams to determine barriers to deployment and adoption.
Alaska Broadband Task Force
On February 23, 2011, the Alaska Broadband Task Force was formed to work with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) on a plan to provide every citizen of Alaska with 100 mbps broadband connectivity by 2020. The Task Force is supported by Connect Alaska, which provides research and benchmarking activities on broadband needs, usage, and barriers in local communities and also measures the impact of broadband implementation over time. The Alaska Broadband Task Force uses the research from Connect Alaska to determine how to fund innovative e-government and web 2.0 applications via a sub-grant process that will make government services and data more readily available to Alaska's communities.
Digital Arizona Council
The Digital Arizona Council was created in 2011 as part of the Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology division of the Arizona Department of Administration’s Digital Arizona Project. The purpose of the Council is to provide governance, advice, and balanced representation for Arizona’s diverse broadband stakeholders.
Arkansas Broadband Advisory Council
On March 28, 2007, Governor Beebe signed Act 604 into law creating the Arkansas Broadband Advisory Council (re-named the Arkansas Broadband Council by Act 947 of 2009) and encouraging the non-profit Arkansas Capital Corporation to create a non-profit Connect Arkansas. While Connect Arkansas’s initiatives are focused on broadband education and facilitation, the Arkansas Broadband Council advises the Governor and the General Assembly on policies related to making affordable broadband available to every Arkansas home and business. The council also monitors the broadband based development efforts of other states and nations in areas such as business, education, and health. The expiration date of the council was removed by an amendment under 2011 H.B 1312.
California Broadband Council
The California Broadband Council was created by 2010 SB 1462 (Cal. Gov. Code § 8885) to promote broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas of the state, and broadband adoption throughout California. The council is charged with reviewing implementation of the 2008 Broadband Task Force Report recommendations and improving coordination among state agencies. The council assists applicants in becoming more competitive for federal funds made available through the National Broadband Plan, building on the $420 million in broadband infrastructure grants from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the $57 million in California Advanced Services Fund grants already awarded in the state.
Colorado Broadband Data and Development Program
The Colorado Broadband Data and Development Program was created under the Governor’s Office of Information Technology in 2010 through a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for the purpose of broadband mapping and planning. The grant provides approximately $1.6 million over two years to continue Colorado's assessment of broadband deployment across the state and its development of a comprehensive and verified geographically-based inventory and database of broadband availability. The grant provides approximately $500,000 over five years for the Colorado Broadband Data and Development Program (CBDDP) to engage in planning and outreach activities with local groups to promote broadband adoption and enhance broadband market information. The CBDDP gathers data wire line, wireless, mobile, and middle mile broadband data directly from broadband services providers across the state to create the Colorado Broadband Map.
Connecticut Broadband Mapping Program
The State of Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA), with funds from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program (SBDD), created the Connecticut Broadband Mapping Program in 2010. The Connecticut Broadband Mapping Program aids the PURA in determining broadband availability and services and identifying infrastructure need for the requirements of the Broadband Data and Development grant program. The data collected by the state is updated through the input and cooperation from broadband providers, municipalities, and community anchor institutions. The state’s principal geo-data development consultant, Applied Geographics, Inc., is working closely with the PURA, the Department of Information Technology, other state agencies, municipalities, and community anchor institutions to meet the data collection standards and reporting requirements of the NTIA and the award.
Delaware Broadband Mapping Project
The Delaware Broadband Mapping Project was initiated in 2010 by the Department of Technology and Information. The project’s work includes data collection, the development of a statewide broadband availability map, transmission of that data to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for the development of its national broadband map, and the long-term maintenance of this data by the state. To date, DTI, working with selected vendors, has provided NTIA with two data sets that include broadband providers and community anchor institutions (K-12 schools, universities, libraries, etc.) in Delaware. DTI has also created an interactive map for citizen use to identify broadband coverage based on citizen-entered parameters.
Broadband Florida Initiative
2009 SB 2626 (Fla. Stat.§364.0135) authorizes the Florida Department of Management Services to apply for grants and lead broadband planning and development efforts in Florida. The Department used the funds from federal grants to establish the Broadband Florida Initiative. The initiative leads collaborative efforts in broadband capacity building across local, regional, and state public and private institutions. The Broadband Florida Initiative includes a grant development team and an E-rate program team. The E-rate team provides direct support to eligible community anchor institutions so that Florida can best leverage available funding opportunities. The initiative also created the now defunct Florida Broadband Joint Work Group , which produced the Florida’s Broadband Strategy White Paper in June 2009. The Broadband Florida Initiative also created the Florida Broadband Mapping Project. The Florida Broadband Mapping project is mapping landline and wireless services using information from providers and other sources. The collected and verified broadband mapping information will support the broadband development objectives identified in Fla. Stat. §364.0135.
Georgia Broadband Mapping Program
In 2009, the Georgia Technology Authority received a $5.2 million grant from the US Commerce Department for the statewide Georgia Broadband Mapping Program. The goal of the program is to partner with Georgia telecommunications carriers to collect broadband data on coverage and speeds across technology types to assess unserved and underserved areas. The program creates maps, analysis, and tabular data twice a year, including the Georgia Broadband Map.
Hawaii Broadband Initiative
Following the sunset date of the Hawaii Broadband Task Force, an executive memorandum by the governor in August 2011 created the Hawaii Broadband Initiative. The memorandum directs the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to lead the Hawaii Broadband Initiative in providing all of Hawaii’s citizens with access to ultra-high-speed gigabit broadband services at affordable prices by 2018.
Hawaii Broadband Map Initiative
In 2010, Hawaii's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) was awarded a grant to assist the state in gathering and verifying data on the availability, speed, location, and type of technology broadband services through the Hawaii Broadband Map Initiative. The data collected and compiled under the initiative is used to develop the publicly available statewide Hawaii Broadband Map. This activity is to be conducted on a semi-annual basis between 2010 and 2014, with the data to be presented in a clear and accessible format to the public, government, and the research community. To facilitate the Hawaii Broadband Map Initiative, DCAA has teamed with University of Hawaii’s Pacific Disaster Center.
LinkIDAHO is a statewide project launched by the governor and funded through a federal grant. The project team is accountable to the governor’s office and the offices of the Idaho CIO and GIO. The project is designed to address Idaho’s broadband priorities and related federal data submission requirements regarding the development of a national broadband map.
LinkIDAHO Broadband Advisory Team
The LinkIDAHO Broadband Advisory Team (LBAT) is convened under the Idaho Rural Partnership and the LinkIDAHO project. The LBAT interacts with policy makers and informs them about broadband needs and benefits in Idaho, providing input on the statewide broadband framework. The LBAT also develops and suggests strategic partnerships and funding opportunities to improve broadband availability and use in Idaho.
Illinois Broadband Deployment Council
The Illinois Broadband Deployment Council, established by Executive Order No. 9 in 2005, exists to improve access to broadband networks for public, private and not-for-profit organizations all across the state. The council assists in Illinois broadband policy formation and serves as an information clearinghouse on broadband funding and projects in Illinois.
Indiana Broadband Mapping Program
The Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) created the Indiana Broadband Mapping Program with grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in 2009. The Program is a multi-year, multi-agency effort to map areas in the state currently served by broadband providers. The results will be integrated into both the Indiana Broadband Map and a national broadband availability map, and will provide a foundation for future broadband deployment efforts at the state and national level.
Connect Every Iowan Initiative
Created in September 2013 by Gov. Terry Branstad, the goal of the Connect Every Iowan Initiative is to “to increase the access, adoption, and use of broadband technology.” Under the initiative, the STEM Advisory Council’s Broadband Committee is tasked with developinglegislative recommendations to encourage broadband build-out throughout Iowa, particularly in unserved or underserved areas. The Committee is also charged with creating a long-term strategic plan for broadband in Iowa by January 1, 2015, in addition to identifying and pursuing any possible federal funding opportunities or public private partnerships. The Committee released its report on how to improve broadband connectivity in the state to the Governor’s office in November, 2013.
Connect Iowa has been instituted as a subsidiary of Connected Nation and operates as a non-profit. Connect Iowa was commissioned by the Iowa Utilities Board to work with all broadband providers to create an Iowa Broadband Map in order to accurately pinpoint remaining gaps in broadband availability in Iowa. The map project will support the activities of the Iowa Broadband Deployment Governance Board, which includes developing a statewide plan for the deployment and adoption of broadband in the state.
Connect Kansas was commissioned by the Kansas Department of Commerce to work with all broadband providers in Kansas to create detailed maps of broadband coverage to accurately pinpoint remaining gaps in broadband availability in Kansas. Connect Kansas will continue to develop and update broadband data as it is collected and to identify the services that can be made available to public and private entities as well as citizens.
ConnectKentucky, Kentucky's technology-based economic development partnership, is an alliance of technology-minded businesses, government entities, and universities working together to accelerate technology in the Commonwealth. ConnectKentucky supports statewide broadband infrastructure expansion, technology planning, and public policy.
Maine ConnectMe Authority
The Maine ConnectME Authority (35 M.R.S. §9201) was created by the legislature with the goal of expanding broadband access in the most rural, unserved areas of the state that have little prospect of service from a traditional provider. The authority’s purpose is to identify unserved areas of the state; develop proposals for broadband expansion projects, demonstration projects and other initiatives; and administer the process for selecting specific broadband projects and providing funding, resources, and incentives. The authority is funded by a 0.25 percent surcharge on instate retail communications services and funds proposals through grants, direct investments, or loans made on behalf of, in partnership with, or in support of, one or more communications service providers.
Maryland Rural Broadband Coordination Board
The Maryland Rural Broadband Coordination Board was established in July 2006 by S.B. 753. The board reviews and approves the disbursement of funds from the Rural Broadband Assistance Fund, and through cooperation with other public, private, and nonprofit entities, obtains further resources for establishing broadband communication services in rural and underserved areas in Maryland. The board consists of nine members, including the Secretary of Business and Economic Development; the Secretary of Transportation; a representative from the Department of Information Technology; the chair of the Rural Maryland Council; and the chair or designee from five regional councils. The board is staffed by the Rural Maryland Council. Authorization for the board extends through June 30, 2020; however the board ceased meeting in 2010. The board issued a final report in August 2010.
Massachusetts Broadband Institute
2008 H.B. 4864 (ALM GL ch. 40J, § 6B) established the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) as a new division within the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. The act gives the MBI the authority to invest up to $40 million of state bond funds in necessary and long-lived infrastructure assets, such as conduits, fiber-optic cable and wireless towers. As the state entity for broadband mapping and availability, the MBI is collecting, verifying and mapping detailed information about the current levels of broadband availability in Massachusetts to create the Massachusetts Broadband Map. The MBI is also developing broadband adoption programs for veterans and small businesses.
Connect Michigan is a subsidiary of Connected Nation and operates as a non-profit in Michigan. Connect Michigan partnered with the Michigan Public Service Commission to engage in a comprehensive broadband planning and technology initiative as part of the national effort to map and expand broadband. The program began by gathering provider data to form statewide broadband maps and performing statewide business and residential technology assessments, but has since progressed to working with localities on community plans through the Michigan Collaborative Broadband Committee.
Michigan Collaborative Broadband Committee
The Michigan Collaborative Broadband Committee is a statewide task force formed under the Connect Michigan partnership that works closely with the Michigan Public Service Commission and public-private stakeholders. The Collaborative Broadband Committee has representatives from K-12 education, higher education, broadband service providers, non-profits, tourism, business, agriculture, government, and other organizations that have an interest in improving Michigan's broadband availability and meaningful adoption. The committee's overall mission includes strategic planning, and the historical leadership of the PSC ensures its long-term impact.
Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
In August 2011, Governor Mark Dayton issued Executive Order 11-27, which created the Governor's Task Force on Broadband . The task force is made up of 15 members appointed by the Governor and representing a variety of broadband interests, including business, residential users, educational and health care institutions, telephone and cable companies, wireless providers, and both municipal and county governments. The task force is charged with expanding broadband in Minnesota in order to provide "border-to-border" high-speed Internet and cell phone access throughout Minnesota.
Connect Minnesota is a subsidiary of Connected Nation and operates as a non-profit in the state of Minnesota in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Connect Minnesota works with broadband providers in Minnesota to create detailed maps of broadband coverage in order to accurately pinpoint remaining gaps in broadband availability in Minnesota.
Mississippi Broadband Task Force
The Mississippi Broadband Task Force (MBTF) was created by Governor Haley Barbour in April 2009. The task force was charged with overseeing the state’s broadband technology strategy for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as “the stimulus package.” Stimulus broadband funding has been made available through the State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) program and the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Beginning in 2009, the Mississippi Broadband Task Force (MBTF), in conjunction with BroadMap, reached out to providers supplying broadband service available in Mississippi. Following the initial outreach, the team worked collaboratively with the providers to standardize the information compiled and created a geographic representation of their coverage via the Mississippi Broadband Mapping Initiative.
Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition
In September 2010, Mississippi received funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to develop the Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition (MBCC). MBCC is a non-profit group focused on producing a comprehensive statewide strategy for improving digital literacy, increasing access to broadband, and enabling greater adoption of broadband in the state. The MBCC consists of eight committees. These groups met throughout 2011 to create targeted recommendations for their areas of study. The recommendations were included in the 2011 report titled “Mapping Mississippi’s Digital Future.”
Missouri Broadband Now Initiative (MoBroadbandNow)
MoBroadbandNow, a private-public partnership, was launched in 2009 under the Transform Missouri Initiative established through Executive Order 09-12. The MoBroadbandNow Initiative is a five-year project to expand broadband accessibility from 79.7 percent to 91.5 percent of the total population with federal funds, under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). In pursuing these objectives, the initiative has established regional teams to develop grassroots-level strategic broadband plans and holds an annual broadband summit. The initiative also collects broadband data to produce semi-annual interactive mapping information and reports on the status of other broadband infrastructure projects.
Montana Broadband Program
The Montana Broadband Program is funded through the State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) program that is administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This project, working in collaboration with the Montana Department of Administration, was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices. Using the data collected, the information is compiled into the Montana Broadband Map. The Montana Broadband Program is currently developing a broadband advisory council.
Nebraska Broadband Initiative
The Nebraska Broadband Initiative, funded through a grant to the Nebraska Public Service Commission by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, was created to increase broadband access and adoption through better data collection and broadband planning. Under the Nebraska Broadband Initiative, the Broadband Planning Oversight Team meets quarterly with the entire Public Service Commission team and provides an official report to the Public Service Commissioners at regularly scheduled meetings. One major project of the initiative has been the Nebraska State Broadband Map. The collected and verified broadband mapping information will be used to support future broadband development objectives.
Nevada Broadband Taskforce
On July 15, 2009, the Nevada Broadband Task Force was created by executive order (amended by executive order 2011-22). The Nevada Broadband Task Force consists of eleven members appointed by the governor. The governor also appoints one member as chairman. The mission of the task force is to identify and remove barriers to broadband access and identify opportunities for increased broadband applications and adoption in unserved and underserved areas of Nevada. The task force also oversees all necessary duties and responsibilities to reach the goal to expand broadband technology including the application of federal funding/grants, grant compliance, mapping and data management. The task force is set to expire July 1, 2015.
New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program
The New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program (NHBMPP) is a comprehensive program that seeks to understand where broadband is currently available in New Hampshire, how it can be made more widely available in the future, and how to encourage increased levels of broadband adoption and usage. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the NHBMPP comprises two main components: a broadband availability inventory and mapping effort, and a suite of planning and technical assistance initiatives. Technical assistance initiatives include establishing broadband stakeholder groups that will focus on collecting and analyzing relevant information, identifying barriers to broadband deployment, promoting collaboration with service providers, and facilitating information sharing.
New Jersey Broadband Mapping Program
Using funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program (Broadband Mapping Program), the New Jersey Office of Information Technology (OIT) created the New Jersey Broadband Mapping Program in 2010. Under the program, OIT works with facilities-based providers of broadband services, as well as local government organizations and community anchor institutions, to collect, validate, verify and deliver certain data on broadband services available to end user locations in the state through the creation of the New Jersey Broadband Map.
New Mexico Broadband Executive Committee
The New Mexico Broadband Executive Committee is a statewide collaborative committee formed under the Department of Information Technology’s New Mexico Broadband Program. These groups form a core component to a number of conferences and focus forums to identify gaps, clarify issues, and provide action items toward solutions (legislation, funding, construction, regulation, etc.). All of these efforts are incorporated into the New Mexico Broadband Strategic Master Plan.
New York Broadband Development and Deployment Council
The New York Broadband Development and Deployment Council was established in 2009 by Executive Order 22 and provides strategic oversight for the New York State Universal Broadband Initiative. Thirteen members are appointed to serve on the council, which is charged to provide strategic direction to ensure all New Yorkers have access to high-speed Internet networks. The council coordinates state and federally funded broadband projects to stimulate broadband development, close the digital divide, and increase digital literacy levels in underserved and unserved urban and rural communities.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce created the NC Broadband Division in 2011 after the e-NC Authority transferred its ARRA federal funds and authority to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The broadband division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce is a new initiative dedicated to encouraging the adoption and use of broadband Internet, identifying unserved and underserved areas and working to promote greater broadband availability across the state.
North Dakota Broadband Mapping Program
North Dakota received an initial grant in 2009 of approximately $1.3 million to map broadband services under the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program to fund the North Information Technology Department’s North Dakota Broadband Mapping Program. The program serves as a state broadband program office to oversee the data collection for the North Dakota Broadband Map and technical assistance projects. It also coordinates broadband planning activities across the state.
Governor Ted Strickland on Dec. 17, 2007 launched Connect Ohio, a public-private partnership that seeks to expand broadband services across the state by working with local communities and providers to map gaps in access. Connect Ohio’s three-year strategy involves a partnership between the state and broadband providers to create detailed maps of broadband coverage in order to accurately pinpoint remaining gaps in broadband availability in Ohio. Connect Ohio will also work to establish public-private partnerships that will assist in supplying computers to areas that have broadband service but lack computer access.
Oklahoma Broadband Initiative
Oklahoma was awarded a grant in January 2010 under the State Broadband Data Development (SBDD) program to fund the Oklahoma Broadband Initiative. The first phase of the initiative is the Oklahoma Broadband Mapping Project, which includes the collection of the necessary data to identify broadband assets, gaps in broadband services, and opportunities for expansion of broadband services. This data has been consolidated into the Oklahoma Broadband Map and depicts what areas of the state are served, underserved and unserved by broadband. The second phase of this initiative is the Oklahoma Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant application to build the Oklahoma Community Anchor Network (OCAN), a 1,005 mile middle-mile infrastructure that will connect 32 anchor institutions in underserved or unserved areas of the state.
Oregon Broadband Advisory Council
The Oregon Broadband Advisory Council was created by 2009 H.B. 3158. The council’s mission is to develop and ensure the implementation of a statewide broadband network with a focus on extending broadband access to unserved and underserved communities across Oregon. The council aims to ensure that Oregon citizens can take full advantage of the commerce, education, and health and safety benefits provided by broadband Internet access. The council also will encourage public-private partnerships to promote the deployment of broadband and will report to the legislature on the affordability and accessibility of broadband technology in all areas of Oregon.
Pennsylvania Broadband Map
In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Community Economic Development (DCED) and its contractor Michael Baker Jr., Inc., with funds from the federal State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) Program, began the development of the Pennsylvania Broadband Map. The project is aimed at encouraging adoption by certain constituencies and more vulnerable communities through implementation of the state broadband plan, regional working groups, measurement of broadband utilization, identification of barriers to adoption, and awareness and outreach efforts, including hosting of a state broadband summit.
Broadband Rhode Island Initiative
Broadband Rhode Island (BBRI) is an initiative of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation that works to create new opportunities by expanding broadband use and digital literacy across Rhode Island. One of BBRI's purposes is to map and verify broadband throughout Rhode Island. BBRI is funded through December 2014 by the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. BBRI’s programs address public awareness and education about broadband and study and develop plans to increase broadband adoption and usage. The first BBRI white paper, "Broadband Policy for Rhode Island, Achieving Competitive Advantage in the Internet Age," published in January 2012, calls for the creation of a Governor’s Broadband Policy Advisory Board.
Connect South Carolina
Connect South Carolina is a subsidiary of Connected Nation and operates as a non-profit in the state of South Carolina. Connect South Carolina was commissioned by the Office of the Governor to work with each of the state's broadband providers to create detailed maps of broadband coverage and to assess the current state of broadband adoption across the state. Connect South Carolina's efforts are funded by the U. S. Department of Commerce's State Broadband Initiative (SBI) Grant Program through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Connect South Carolina works under the direction of the Governor's Office, and previously in coordination with the South Carolina Broadband Advisory Committee.
South Dakota Broadband Advisory Team
The South Dakota Broadband Advisory Team is made up of a cross section of education and medical groups and telecommunication businesses, as well as other business leaders throughout the state. The group assists the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) staff in coordinating outreach projects, including broadband technology events and meetings with stakeholders across government, private industry, and the general public.
In 2007, Connected Tennessee was established as an independent non-profit organization after the recommendation of the Tennessee Broadband Task Force. Connected Tennessee aims to accelerate the availability and use of technology towards creating a better business environment, more effective community and economic development, improved healthcare, enhanced education, and more efficient government. Under the Connected Tennessee Initiative, the state establisheda Steering Committee comprised of public and private partners representing all sectors from across the state to provide an environment for interactions that support and generate statewide and regional economic development and measures that benefit the public.
Connected Texas is a subsidiary of Connected Nation and operates as a non-profit. Connected Texas was commissioned by the Texas Department of Agriculture to work with all broadband providers in the state to create detailed maps of broadband coverage in order to accurately pinpoint remaining gaps in broadband availability in Texas. Connected Texas will work with Texas Councils of Governments (COGs) and establish approximately 29 planning teams at a regional or local level. Both planning teams and the Texas Broadband Task Force will participate in annual statewide strategic planning meetings to share best practices and identify and resolve any new barriers or challenges.
Texas Broadband Task Force
The Texas Department of Agriculture created the Texas Broadband Task Force in 2009 to guide efforts to make broadband services available across the state. The Texas Broadband Task Force assists the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the Public Utilities Commission in maximizing broadband programs created through the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Utah Broadband Advisory Council
The Utah Broadband Advisory Council was formed in June 2011, and meets monthly to examine the condition of broadband adoption and deployment in the state. The council will provide the governor and legislature with recommendations and policy guidance. Members of the council represent a diverse group of interests including legislators, state and local government, healthcare, education, libraries, and public safety, economic development, and tribal entities.
Vermont Telecommunications Authority
The Vermont Legislature enacted 2007 H.B. 248, Act 79, creating the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA), charging it to ensure that high-speed Internet and cell phone service is available in every corner of Vermont by the end of 2010. The VTA was charged with the following powers and duties: to issue revenue bonds up to $40 million to fund broadband and wireless telecommunications projects; gather data on wireless and broadband infrastructure and services; provide financial assistance in the form of loans, grants, guarantees and other financial instruments to fill in gaps in wireless and broadband coverage; incorporate one or more non-profits to take advantage of grants and other financing available only to non-profits; own, lease, and contract for telecommunications facilities and services for unserved areas; provide assistance to municipalities to deploy infrastructure and attract services; and waive fees required for access to state-owned transportation rights of way for broadband and wireless telecommunications providers in exchange for comparable value to the state.
Virginia Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance
In 2006, Governor Kaine signed Executive Order 35 creating the Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance. The duties of the office include promoting and encouraging use of telework alternatives for public and private employees, including appropriate policy and legislative initiatives, and supporting the efforts of both public and private entities within the commonwealth to enhance or facilitate the deployment of, and access to, competitively priced, advanced broadband services.
Virginia Broadband Advisory Council
The Virginia Broadband Advisory Council was created by 2009 S.B. 1336 (codified in Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-2699.3) and expires July 1, 2018. The Broadband Advisory Council was established to help determine the Commonwealth's goals for broadband and how best to achieve them. It is comprised of eleven members: four legislators, two ex-officio members, five citizen members, the Secretary of Technology, and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.
Washington State Broadband Office
In 2009, the Washington Department of Information Services (DIS) created the Washington State Broadband Office through supplemental grants to increase Washington’s existing broadband program capabilities for a total of five years. In the third through fifth years of the grant, $250,000 will be used annually to develop and support local technology planning teams. Semiannual data collection and updates to the broadband map will continue. The total funding for the program from American Reinvestment and Recovery Act Broadband stimulus funds is $7.3 million, administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council
The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council was created by 2008 H.B 4637 (W. Va. Code § 31-15C-3). The purpose and function of the Broadband Deployment Council is to administer and oversee broadband deployment in the state, especially in regard to bringing broadband service to unserved or underserved areas. As part of this function, the council provides consultation services to project sponsors for the planning, acquisition, improvement, construction or development of any broadband deployment project. In doing so, the council is authorized to make and execute contracts, commitments and other agreements, including the hiring of consultants, to assist in the mapping of the state, categorization of areas within the state, and evaluation of project applications. In support of this mission, the West Virginia Legislature has appropriated $5 million dollars per year for the next three years toward the administration and oversight of broadband deployment. Under W. Va. Code §31-15C-14, the council is set to expire on December 31, 2014.
LinkWISCONSIN is a statewide initiative to promote the availability and sustainable adoption of broadband Internet access.The first phase of the project includes development of a comprehensive broadband coverage map and the identification of strategies for broadband expansion and adoption – particularly in historically unserved or underserved areas. In November, 2009 the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded a grant under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) State Broadband Data Development Program (SBDDP) to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC). Through an RFP process, the PSC selected the LinkAmerica Alliance, a consortium of mapping and planning service providers, and the project’s primary contractor. The grant is funding the state’s efforts to comply with federal requirements relative to the submission of data in support of the NTIA’s national broadband map and to develop Wisconsin broadband service maps and regional broadband plans.
Wisconsin Steering Committee
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has formed a steering committee under the LinkWisconsin initiative to guide the development of a statewide broadband plan. Members of the steering committee were selected to be representative of each of nine Regional Planning Teams. The purpose of the plan is to define specific actionable initiatives that, if implemented, will improve broadband availability, adoption and application throughout the state. The steering committee held its first meeting on March 12, 2012.
Wyoming Broadband Planning Advisory Committee
The Wyoming Broadband Planning Advisory Committee (WBPAC) was formed under the LinkWYOMING Initiative. WBPAC’s mission is to provide oversight, input, sponsorship and policy‐level support in the advancement of broadband across the state that will benefit all citizens of Wyoming. Its work is dedicated to the development and execution of well-designed, high quality and high‐impact efforts designed to advance access, adoption and application of broadband necessary in the economic development, quality of life and standard of living. WBPAC works closely with the office of the governor and the Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS). Members of the WBPAC are appointed by the governor and/or the governor’s representatives in ETS.
LinkWYOMING is a statewide initiative to promote the availability and sustainable adoption of broadband Internet access. The first phase of the project includes development of a comprehensive broadband coverage map and the identification of strategies for broadband expansion and adoption – particularly in historically unserved or underserved areas. LinkWYOMING is a statewide project launched by the Office of the CIO and funded through a federal grant. The project team is accountable to the Wyoming Office of the CIO. The project is designed to address Wyoming‘s broadband priorities and related federal data submission requirements regarding the development of a national broadband map.
Previous/Inactive Broadband Task Forces, Commissions, or Authorities
Arizona Broadband Advisory Committee
The Arizona Broadband Advisory Committee (ABAC) was formed in 2009 to provide expertise and advice to the governor's office on broadband grant applications. ABAC consisted of a representative from ten different state agencies with the Government Information Technology Agency (now Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology, a division of Arizona Department of Administration), serving as the lead agency.
California Broadband Task Force
Governor Schwarzenegger in November 2006 signed an executive order to create a the California Broadband Task Force that brought experts from government and business to work together to identify and eliminate obstacles to making broadband Internet access ubiquitous in the state. Within the Broadband Task Force were six working groups: Build-Out, Economic Development, Education, Emerging Technologies and New Applications, Health Care, and Public-Private Partnerships for Community Development. The working groups developed recommendations for consideration by the task force. The Task Force issued its Final Report in January 2008.
Connecticut Broadband Internet Coordinating Council
The Connecticut Broadband Internet Coordinating Council was established pursuant to Section 3 of Substitute House Bill No. 7282, Public Act No. 07-254, C.G.S. 4d-100. The legislation passed after a December 2006 study by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering entitled, “Advanced Communications Technologies.” The council's charge was to monitor trends and developments in the state's efforts to develop a statewide world-class communications infrastructure. The statutory provision establishing the Connecticut Broadband Internet Coordinating Council was repealed effective July 1, 2011, by section 140 of Public Act 11-80.
Hawaii Broadband Task Force
2007 H.B. 310, Act 2 (Special Session 2007) established Hawaii's Broadband Task Force. The task force was directed to remove barriers to broadband deployment by using a technology-neutral approach to encourage lower prices for broadband services and create more consumer choices. The task force's purposes were to gain wider access to public rights-of-way; identify opportunities for increased broadband deployment and adoption, including very high speed broadband services; and enable the creation and deployment of new advanced communication technologies in Hawaii. The Task Force issued an initial report in 2007 and a final report in 2008. The Hawaii Broadband Task Force expired on June 30, 2009 as specified in the original legislation.
Indiana Broadband Development Program
The Indiana Broadband Development Program was created by 2005 S.B. 381 (Ind. Code Ann. § 8-1-33-15). It created a coordinating body to determine the feasibility of implementing a statewide broadband network, and dissolved July 15, 2007.
Iowa Broadband Deployment Governance Board
2009 S.F. 376 provided an appropriation of $25 million to the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission (ITTC), in conjunction with Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), and Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), to establish the Iowa Broadband Deployment Governance Board. The Iowa Broadband Deployment Governance Board’s promotes the deployment and sustainability of high-speed broadband access in the state. The board consists of eleven voting members representing educational users; urban and residential users; cable, wireline, and wireless providers; the Iowa Utilities Board, Economic Development Board, and Telecommunications and Technology Commission; and four non-voting members representing the Iowa House and Senate. The Governance Board's duties include establishing a comprehensive plan for the deployment and sustainability of high-speed broadband service for Iowa. The board is currently on hiatus and all board member terms are set to expire in July 2012.
Louisiana Broadband Advisory Council
The Louisiana Broadband Advisory Council was created by 2004 H.B. 1265 (La. R.S. §51:955.3). The Louisiana Broadband Advisory Council was created to help guide state leaders toward the ultimate goal of providing broadband access to all of Louisiana's citizens as outlined by the National Broadband Plan. The council consists of twenty-four members, including six ex-officio members, one member appointed by the president of the Senate, one member appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, and sixteen members appointed by the governor. The council manages broadband research and coordinates statewide broadband activities for the state.
Maine Broadband Strategy Council
The Maine Broadband Strategy Council was formed after Governor Baldacci signed Resolve, Chapter 108, LD 1012 requiring the ConnectME Authority to establish a special council to advise the authority on broadband opportunities available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the University of Maine System on matters pertaining to the sale or lease of excess capacity as a result of the conversion of the education broadband spectrum. The council terminated on December 1, 2010.
Maryland Task Force for the Deployment of Broadband in Rural Maryland
The Maryland Task Force for the Deployment of Broadband in Rural Maryland was established during the 2003 General Assembly session, and in 2005, the General Assembly extended it through June 2006. The task force examined what works best in other regions of the country to expand broadband communications to rural communities. Next, the Task Force considered resources, infrastructure, and cost structures available in Maryland's rural regions to develop or access broadband communications. To establish and enhance broadband communications in the state's rural areas, the task force developed proposals and made recommendations to meet predetermined goals for deployment of effective broadband communications in unserved and underserved areas of the state. The task force recommended legislation, budget provisions or amendments, and changes in state procurement policy. During the 2005 General Assembly session, the Task Force sunset was extended to June 30, 2006 (SB 454 / HB 963).
Michigan Broadband Development Authority
The Michigan Broadband Development Authority (MBDA) was created by 2001 SB 881 (MCL § 484.3204) as an independent state government agency within the Department of Treasury. The goal of MBDA was to attract investment to the state and provide affordable broadband access to Michigan communities. In 2004, MBDA was responsible for granting $12 million in loans that went to 150 cities in 45 counties across Michigan. The authority had the power to issue taxable and tax exempt bonds and provide assistance for companies. The powers and duties of the MBDA were transferred in 2008 to the Public Service Commission and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority through Executive Reorganization Order No. 2008-4.
Minnesota High-Speed Broadband Task Force
Minnesota created the High Speed Task Force when the legislature passed 2008 S.F. 1918. The task force is responsible for making recommendations to the governor and legislature regarding the creation of a statewide high-speed internet access goal, and creating a plan for implementation by 2015. The Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Task Force acts in an advisory capacity to identify the level of broadband service needed and to determine appropriate goals regarding technical and financial aspects of statewide broadband Internet access. 2010 H.F. 2907, Chapter 277 set state goals, including those of the task force, for broadband deployment and speed. Goals include, for example, that by 2015, the state be in the top five states of the U. S. for broadband speed universally accessible to residents and businesses, the top five states for broadband access, and the top 15 when compared to countries globally for broadband penetration.
Missouri Rural High-Speed Internet Access Task Force
Missouri Governor George Blunt created, by executive order, the Rural High-Speed Internet Access Task Force in November 2007 to identify opportunities to increase access to technology across the state. Blunt directed the task force to: 1) assess the current level of high-speed Internet access available in Missouri; 2) identify barriers to deployment to underserved areas including economic, geographic, regulatory, and market barriers; 3) identify potential options to increase the deployment of high-speed Internet access in underserved communities; 4) review best practices in other states to increase high-speed Internet access; and 5) recommend statutory, regulatory, and policy changes needed to increase the availability of high-speed Internet services across the state. The task force expired on June 30, 2008
Nebraska Broadband Services Task Force
Established by 2005 L.B. 645 in October 2005, the Nebraska Broadband Services Task Force discussed issues related to broadband services in Nebraska. The task force identified trends regarding broadband deployment, changing consumer demands, and evolving technologies that impact both wholesale and retail broadband services. The task force concluded that private broadband providers are successfully deploying facilities to serve Nebraska’s needs and that competition by public power suppliers in providing wholesale broadband services was unnecessary at the time. However, future technological developments require the state’s attention to ensure citizens have access to changing broadband offerings. The Broadband Services Task Force's Final Report was released Nov. 22, 2006. In 2009, L.B. 154 eliminated the Broadband Services Task Force.
New York State Council for Universal Broadband
The New York State Council for Universal Broadband was created by Governor Elliott Spitzer in 2007. The council was charged with creating, through a competitive grant process, integrated and inclusive public/private partnerships to rapidly deploy affordable broadband services. The council recommended a comprehensive statewide strategy that charted a course towards affordable broadband access throughout the state. The approach sought to leverage existing resources, consider new ways to extend high-speed Internet access beyond traditional means, and recommend approaches to increase digital literacy in underserved urban and rural communities. The council was replaced by the New York State Broadband Development and Deployment Council in 2009 by Executive Order 22.
North Carolina e-NC Authority
On Aug. 2, 2000, the North Carolina General Assembly created the Rural Internet Access Authority through 2000 S.B. 1343. The bill created this organization to study and report on North Carolina's telecommunications infrastructure and to increase Internet use. The authority was given additional powers under 2003 H.B. 1194 and 2005 S.B. 1741. Those bills created the e-NC Authority to continue the work of the Rural Internet Access Authority and extended the sunset of the e-NC Authority to Dec. 31, 2011.
In August 2009, the e-NC was designated by the governor as the broadband mapping entity for North Carolina for purposes of the State Broadband Data and Development Grant under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2010, e-NC was awarded $6.6 million in federal funding, until 2014, to support planning, capacity building, adoption and use across North Carolina. In 2011, H.B. 200/N.C. Sess. Laws,Chap. 145 required the e-NC to transfer the remaining federal funds to the Department of Commerce to continue the broadband mapping activities.
Ohio Broadband Council
On July 27, 2007, Governor Ted Strickland signed Executive Order 2007 - 24S, creating an Ohio Broadband Council to coordinate efforts to extend access to the Broadband Ohio Network to every county in Ohio. In addition to developing a plan for statewide broadband deployment, the Ohio Broadband Council was charged with coordinating all state-funded broadband initiatives, pursuing additional federal investments in broadband, promoting public and private broadband initiatives and addressing the digital divide in Ohio’s rural and urban areas. The council expired in 2010 with the end of Governor Strickland’s term.
South Carolina Broadband Advisory Committee
South Carolina Broadband Advisory Committee was created in 2009 under the South Carolina Department of Commerce to manage, oversee and monitor use of the state Rural Broadband Fund. The committee, chaired by the state’s Secretary of Commerce, prioritized funding to areas of the state that have been underserved by the existing telecommunications infrastructure. The committee’s most recent action was deliberating and commenting on the state’s behalf during the second award of NTIA funds. Having fulfilled its primary purpose, the committee’s activity has ceased.
South Carolina Broadband Technology and Communications Study Committee
The South Carolina Broadband Technology and Communications Study Committee was created by 2007 Act 169. The committee's final report, completed in February 2008, recommended that the state create a public-private partnership to promote the deployment and adoption of broadband services in the state to evaluate the state's broadband communications infrastructure, and to assess the availability of and need for broadband services in unserved and underserved areas.
Tennessee Broadband Task Force
The Tennessee Broadband Task Force was created by 2005 H.B. 2152 (Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-52-408). In its initial recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly, the task force cited the model established by Connected Nation in Kentucky and encouraged the initiation of similar efforts in Tennessee. The Task Force is still in existence through statute, but has not been active since 2009.
Virginia Broadband Roundtable
On June 13, 2007, Governor Kaine announced the formation of the Virginia Broadband Roundtable to accelerate the attainment of his economic strategic goal of having affordable broadband connectivity to every business in the Commonwealth by 2010. The Broadband Roundtable was charged with delivering a “blueprint” to assist communities with broadband planning and deployment. Roundtable members included local, national, and international leaders with a strong track record of innovating in the telecommunications industry.
Updated in 2012 and 2014 by Cassandra Kirsch.
NCSL Broadband Contacts:
State Issues: Jo Anne Bourquard, NCSL Denver Office, 303-364-7700
Federal Issues: Helen Narvasa, NCSL Washington D.C. Office, 202-624-5400