The Connected Nation Blog: Horse's Mouth

Friday, July 25, 2008

Horse's Mouth

Connected Nation is blessed to work with many great people across the country. Regularly we receive letters from city and county leaders offering thanks for our work to help their communities realize the promises of technology. Recently, several of these local leaders filed letters of support at the FCC and I wanted to share some excerpts to provide witness, as we say in Kentucky, "straight from the horse's mouth"....Brian

From Henry Bertram, County Judge ExecutivePendleton County, Kentucky

Dear Chairman Martin:
Without the ConnectKentucky maps and the work of ConnectKentucky staff in the field to keep the maps current and accurate, Pendleton County would never had had the tools to develop our network, and we would very likely still have more than half of our residents without broadband…. I understand the FCC is considering doing this type of broadband mapping. As you contemplate this process, I urge you to leave broadband mapping in the hands of publicprivate partnerships such as ConnectKentucky. Many government entities have tried, and failed, to produce accurate and comprehensive broadband availability maps. Fortunately, there are groups out there who can bring together local leaders and broadband providers of all sizes and technology types to accurately map broadband in a way that is useful for all of us. Pendleton County is proof that this process works. More from Judge Executive Bertram

From Jiten Shah, Executive DirectorGreen River Area Development District

Dear Chairman Martin:
I write to urge you to consider a cooperative, public-private approach to mapping national broadband availability….As you and your colleagues at the FCC work to develop national broadband policies, I encourage you to find creative ways that you could use theConnectKentucky model. Thank you for your work to ensure all Americans have access to broadband. I believe that ConnectGRADD proves that this goal is possible, if we work together to make it happen. More from Jiten Shah

From Dennis Atha, MayorCity of Monterey, Kentucky

Dear Chairman Martin:
I saw firsthand how the process works – ConnectKentucky works with providers – big and small – to gather information on where broadband service exists, and then they work with local communities, businesses, and citizens to make sure the map is correct. And then ConnectKentucky produces these maps and all kinds of related tools on its website for all to use. To say that these maps are not transparent or not useful is an injustice - and is utterly ridiculous. This process for cooperative mapping is a model that should not only be heralded, but should be used again and again for the rest of America. More from Mayor Atha

From Hal Goode, Executive Director Springfield-Washington Economic Development Authority

Dear Chairman Martin:
As an economic development professional of a Kentucky county that has recently implemented a public broadband project, I believe it is my duty to give you a first-hand account of the support and assistance that ConnectKentucky has brought to our municipality and the rural citizens of our county. I understand there are allegations that ConnectKentucky does not support municipal broadband projects; however, this is simply untrue.... As you work to determine the best course for FCC action in mapping broadband availability, I encourage you to develop policies that will encourage public-private partnerships like ConnectKentucky to continue to thrive. These grassroots-led programs not only do an excellent job of mapping broadband availability, but they also provide a tremendous resource to local governments as we work to find information technology solutions for
our citizens. More from Hal Goode

From Brent Graden, Director of Economic DevelopmentCity of Prestonsburg, Kentucky

To Whom It May Concern:
It is my opinion that ConnectKentucky and other programs like it are an invaluable tool to help communities help themselves. Their invaluable leadership and knowledge base helps to create a public-private partnership that stimulates the local economy, promotes education, increases tourism and development, and offers increased access to broadband in underdeveloped or rural areas… As the Director of Economic Development, it my job to find new and affordable ways to grow the local economy while not breaking the bank. More from Brent Graden

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