Idaho Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, is part of a committee established on May 23 by Gov. Brad Little to improve connectivity and broadband infrastructure across Idaho.
Little directed the Idaho Broadband Task Force to come up with recommendations by November on ways the state can assist in furthering Idaho’s connectivity and speeds. Idaho Department of Commerce Director Tom Kealey will chair it.
“For Idahoans to continue to realize commercial growth and better lives, they must have access to reliable broadband infrastructure and service,” Kealey said. “The Idaho Broadband Task Force intends to directly address connectivity gaps and low-speed service and provide recommendations to the governor that will allow Idaho citizens, businesses and communities to continue on a trajectory of success.”
The task force is made up of government officials, internet providers, satellite providers, cellular providers, industry representatives, universities and representatives from the tribes, counties and cities. It includes two state representatives and two state senators, of both political parties.
According to the Governor’s Office, the group will focus its efforts on mapping Idaho’s existing services and identifying gaps in Idaho’s broadband infrastructure. The mapping effort is the first step in developing a statewide broadband plan.
The task force plans to meet four times before October.
“In a data-driven society, connectivity is imperative for a vital economy,” Little said. “Improved broadband infrastructure ensures both urban and rural Idaho will be connected and well-positioned to attract business and enhance our citizens’ quality of life.”