The Western Governors’ Association encouraged the U.S. Department of Commerce “to pursue meaningful partnerships with states” to improve the quality and accuracy of broadband availability data, particularly in rural areas.
The comments, submitted to Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information David J. Redl on July 16, 2018, stated “High-quality data is necessary to ensure that public broadband deployment efforts are cost effective and prioritize areas that either wholly or significantly lack access.”
“Widespread lack of connectivity limits communities’ access to health care and public safety resources; prevents businesses from competing in the digital economy and diminishes students’ access to education and training opportunities,” said WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury.
The comments included WGA Policy Resolution 2018-13, Workforce Development in the Western United States, which expresses the support of Western Governors for congressional and federal efforts to deploy broadband to rural communities to promote workforce development efforts.
Additionally on broadband, WGA sent a July 17, 2018 letter applauding the new broadband pilot program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service for its focus on rural areas that are either significantly or wholly underserved.