WASHINGTON, July 21, 2010 – A panel of experts convened on Monday to discuss the issue of how to expand broadband at the State level, with a focus on communications challenges. The panel included representatives of North Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Washington, and disseminated its ideas via a webcast moderated by Greg Laudeman of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute.
Due to time constraints, only the presenters from Minnesota, Washington and the table. Bernadine Joselyn of the Blandin Foundation in Minnesota stressed the importance of youth outreach, noting that for young voters, web access was a more fundamental issue than for older generations.
“We like to talk about these generation Yers, who are not technology users. They are technology assumers,” Blandin said. “The difference between what they require to live and work and what exists can result in a gut-wrenching, gasping experience with the topic that is inconceivable if you get a bunch of baby boomers talking about the technology.”
Meanwhile, Luc Miron of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took a more inviting approach, suggesting that Pennsylvania was open to considering a variety of approaches to broadband expansion. “We want to hear what folks’ perception is, and what should be the role of the State,” Miron said.
Angela Wu, the speaker from Washington, stressed the importance of industry outreach. “We ended up with a list of about a thousand broadband stakeholders in our State,” Wu said, describing an information compilation process her state government undertook.