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Utah, Michigan, Oregon and Others Host State Broadband Initiative Summits, Bringing Internet Data and Knowledge Together

Drew Clark



October 18, 2013 - State Broadband Initiative entities have played the lead role in mapping high-speed internet services in their respective states. Now, these entities are also taking the lead to convene, connect and collaborate among broadband stakeholders.

Several states will be hosting broadband technology summits in the coming weeks, including Utah, Michigan, Oregon, Wyoming and Idaho. While each of these summits are different in tenor, depending on the local circumstances, they all have the theme of using high-speed internet to facilitate economic development in their states.

As a way to spur discussion of these events in advance of the summit, the Broadband Breakfast Club will be hosting a FREE webinar on Tuesday, October 22, at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT, with the state broadband leaders from several of these states.

Below is a brief guide to summits:


The Utah Broadband Project, which is part of the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, will be hosting the 2013 Broadband Tech Summit in Provo, Utah, on Thursday, October 24. The summit will feature keynote speakers from, US IGNITE and the University of Utah.

The keynoter from the Utah-based is Bhargav J. Shah, the online reseller's vice president of technology. From US IGNITE, founder and chief technology officer for the non-profit designed to spur advances in applications from high-speed connectivity. Ricart is a previous guest at a Broadband Breakfast Club webinar, on "How High-Capacity Applications are Driving Gigabit Connectivity"

Other themes at the Utah event include "smart schools," "high-capacity users forum," and "social media and emergency management."

"The 2013 broadband technology summit will be a forum for these regional planning participants to learn about improving broadband usage and infrastructure in their region," said Kelleigh Cole, manager of the Utah Broadband Project.

Cole noted that the Spencer Cox, the new Utah Lieutenant Governor just confirmed on Wednesday, has been an active participant in the Utah Broadband Project. "This shows how broadband infrastructure has become a priority in all levels of state government," she said.

Cole will join in the Tuesday Broadband Breakfast Club webinar.


Michigan broadband heros is theme of the broadband summit in East Lansing, Michigan, hosted by Connect Michigan, the state non-profit organization. The organization will award three Michigan Broadband Hero Awards, one for Broadband Access, one for Broadband Adoption, and one for Broadband Use.

The event includes keynote speeches by Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, by State Librarian Nancy Robertson, and by the broadband provider COMLINK. Additionally, the summit features a luncheon keynote speech by Howard Rheingold, the noted internet futurist. The afternoon panel will also feature a panel discussion on economic development and broadband featuring Blair Levin of the Aspen Institute, Michael Finney of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Professor Johannes Bauer of Michigan State University of Steve Webster of Prima Civitas.

Eric Frederick, who will join in the Tuesday Broadband Breakfast Club webinar, said that Connect Michigan next week will further publicize participation by Rheingold, and by the capstone economic development panel.


The Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference is being held on Thursday, October 24, and Friday, October 25, in Hood River, Oregon. The event features Amber Case, a researcher exploring the field of cyborg anthropology. Further information is available at


Wyoming's broadband summit will be held on Tuesday, October 29, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. More information is available at


Idaho's broadband summit is being held on Tuesday, October 22, in Boise, Idaho. Mike Field, Executive Director of the Link Idaho initiative in the state, said that the summit will focus on community broadband centers, including the "anchor institutions" that help drive broadband developments. "Government, health care, libraries, first responders and education are the main folks that we are working together with," he said. More information is available at



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