The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will hold public Alabama Community Broadband Technical Assistance Program meetings in Perry County on May 8, 2023.
The Alabama Community Broadband Technical Assistance Program, administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Digital Expansion Division, provides technical assistance to units of local government and other public stakeholders in Alabama seeking to deploy or expand broadband infrastructure and services to help communities prepare for broadband deployment and digital opportunities. This program is funded through grants from the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
This program enables participating counties and jurisdictions within those counties the tools to understand broadband gaps and opportunities, and to position their communities for broadband efforts to address these. Over the next few years, the State of Alabama will make unprecedented funds available for this specific purpose and local engagement is critical to shaping the state’s plans and positioning counties to take maximal advantage of these opportunities.
This county-level broadband technical assistance will involve three phases:
1) Stakeholder engagement and asset identification for broadband readiness
2) Data Collection and collaboration to baseline broadband needs and assess current state
3) Strategy development for broadband deployment and digital opportunity partnerships.
2:00 p.m. – Broadband Briefing
This briefing is for elected officials who have constituents in the county, as well as internet service providers (ISPs), broadband partners and other interested parties. The meeting will enable officials and interested parties the opportunity to speak on the broadband gaps and needs in the county and their goals and priorities for broadband deployment and digital opportunity. This dialog will also give ISPs the opportunity to explore their understanding of broadband gaps and needs they see in the county and barriers and obstacles to broadband deployment and digital opportunity.
3:00 p.m. – Break
3:10 p.m. – Local Engagement Community Comments and Q&A
The local engagement is for county and municipal government agencies and other key institutions that administer and provide infrastructure- based and program- based services in the community. These include agencies and organizations include public schools and libraries, public works, transit/ transportation, facilities, community affairs, economic development, higher education, housing authority, child and family services, healthcare providers, and public safety /emergency management, among others.
The community organization engagement is for organizations representing populations and causes including children, civil rights, consumer advocacy, disabilities, faith-based, health, housing, immigrants, incarcerated and returning citizens, individuals with language barriers, LGBTQI, labor and workforce, low-income individuals, Native Americans, people of color, seniors, and veterans. This group also includes business and economic development groups.