Local Broadband Innovation in the Post-COVID Era

Monday, September 27, 2020: COVID-19 brought home to local, state and federal policymakers the criticality of taking new approaches to broadband deployment. Now, with substantial new public and private funding coming into the broadband market, local communities and their partners are doing just that. This CLIC program will examine pioneering new procedures being developed through innovative collaboration in the sharing of network risk and ownership.

1:00 to 1:10 pm – Welcome

1:10 to 2:00 pm – The Critical Local Role: New developments in community broadband and public-private partnerships

Local internet choice means that communities have available to them a full range of options for meeting the broadband challenges they face – as well as a full range of funding and financing options. This session will showcase how localities are taking advantage of these extraordinary opportunities by developing new community broadband and partnership strategies to address critical broadband challenges.

2:00 to 2:50 pm – The Federal Role: Federal funding for community networks and public-private partnerships

In this new post-COVID era, federal broadband funding increasingly favors collaboration between public and private entities. This is reflected in programs that require partnerships as well as those that effectively create preferences for public-private joint efforts. This panel will discuss what this new emphasis on collaboration means for the larger broadband environment and will examine how communities and companies can maximize the chances of federal funding in the next few years through collaboration.

2:50 to 3:00 pm – Break

3:00 to 4:00 pm – The State Role: How state governments are meeting the moment for broadband planning and expansion

State governments are building or expanding existing programs to meet the broadband moment and to effectively use new federal funds. They are also increasingly expanding their broadband programs to include issues of affordability and equity in addition to the traditional infrastructure-oriented considerations. Local communities are playing an essential role in the broadband efforts of many states. This session will showcase innovative strategies used by state governments, in partnership with local governments, to catalyze collaborative projects that bring broadband infrastructure where it never has been before.

4:00 to 5:00 pm – The Private Role: Private sector perspectives on local broadband choice and innovation

It is not only communities that have a stake in local internet choice. For many private companies involved in the broadband market, collaboration with local governments is a critical element of their deployment and business strategies. Still others look to local governments for formal partnerships to make more viable deployments that would otherwise not meet private return on investment expectations. This session will explore the private stake in local internet choice and how it supports private sector investment and innovation.

September 27-30, 2021

Marriott Marquis in Houston, Texas

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