Wednesday, June 3, 2015

It’s all about the connection.

Sometimes I think about how I possibly could survive a day without my smartphone. Or what about going a day without Internet access? Growing up in the digital age, these what ifs seem somewhat impossible to imagine -- or at least difficult.

Most of us likely take our connectivity for granted. This may be surprising to you, but nearly 15 percent of Coloradans lack access to basic broadband. In rural parts of the state that number jumps to 40 percent. Think about that as 2 in 5 of your friends disconnected.
As the primary coordinator for broadband strategy in Colorado, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is working with multiple state agencies, local stakeholders and the private sector to ensure we solve this broadband gap and get Colorado residents connected. Whether through facilitating conversations, identifying funding mechanisms or helping areas develop broadband plans, real progress is being made to ensure the state has the broadband connectivity it needs to prosper. For example, Rio Blanco County just began the ambitious project of bringing broadband to every single one of their county residents.

One of the great examples of broadband collaboration in Colorado is the annual Mountain Connect Broadband Development Conference, with representatives from across the state joining OIT -- including the Department of Local Affairs, the Department of Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the Public Utilities Commission. The conference is in Vail this year, and it’s coming up this weekend June 7-9.

At Mountain Connect, you’ll hear from subject matter experts from State of Colorado agencies and stakeholders on broadband mapping, economic impact, collaboration, first responder applications, and funding and net neutrality implications. Join us and register online through Friday, June 5, (or feel free to register right at the door). Learn more and find the full conference agenda on MountainConnect.org.

Monica Coughlin: Chief Strategy Officer. Sports enthusiast, volunteer, proud aunt, world traveler. I tell the IT industry why Colorado is the place to be. Find me on Twitter at @MonicaCoughlin.

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