In Virginia, broadband is an area where the state has little to no control but that doesnt stopstateSecretary of TechnologyKaren Jackson from trying.
The biggest challenge [with broadband] is that its one of those areas where we have little to no control, Jackson says on the latest episode of StateScoops Priorities podcast. Broadband is an unregulated service, so the ability to force or coerce or try to drive deployment in an environment that is very much driven by stakeholders, shareholders and the market is a very daunting task.
In response, Jackson and her team look to improve broadband coverage howeverit can through partnerships,and in some cases just getting out of the way.
Weve done some work with our schools to look at cooperative buying so each one is not going out on their own, and you can do it more in a consolidated fashion and get some benefits of an economy of scale, Jackson says. Were resorting to trying to be as creative as possible, take down barriers where we can, try to get out of deployments where we can and make our assets available.
Jackson says the state government evaluates its own infrastructure buildings, towers and the like, to make sure that it can be a facilitator between the private sector broadband industry and the states residents who need service.
All of these are things were having to look at because the traditional assumption that the market will eventually get there just isnt going to hold when the places that are left to be connected are truly the farthest out, the hardest to reach and the most expensive to reach, Jackson says.
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Priorities is StateScoops regular podcast that examines the leading strategies, technologies and challenges that state CIOs expect to face this year.
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