News Details - Broadband Committee Created
The Legislature approved creation of a Broadband Committee and the appointment of 20 people to serve on it. The advisory committee is charged with assessing broadband infrastructure investment, deployment, and adoption opportunities countywide and making recommendations for improved broadband access and affordability. The committee, chaired by Legislator Pat Pryor, will focus areas including economic development, government performance, public safety/emergency medical services, telehealth, equity in education, energy and the environment, rural broadband access, and civic engagement.
The committee was approved by a 13-1 vote, with Legislator Kathy Luz Herrera voting no and Legislator Dooley Kiefer excused; the appointments were approved by a vote of 11-2, with Legislators Herrera and Frank Proto opposed, and Legislators Kiefer and Jim Dennis excused. Legislator Luz Herrera expressed concern about whether sufficient attention had been paid to ensure a diverse make-up of the committee; Legislator Proto inquired whether any conditions had been set to avoid potential conflict of interest for members who might potentially benefit from the committee’s recommendations. Committee chair Pryor assured that racial, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity were important considerations in forming the committee, and that members will be bound by the County Code of Ethics in fulfilling their advisory responsibilities.
After six months, the committee will deliver an interim report to the Government Operations Committee summarizing its activities and key issues identified that affect broadband accessibility and affordability. It will also make specific findings and recommendations for the Legislature to consider.