Joseph D. Songy, State Broadband Coordinator
Theresa Abadie, Broadband Grants Comptroller
Gary Rawson, Broadband Technology Advisor
In 2009, Governor Haley Barbour created the Mississippi Broadband Task Force (MBTF) to coordinate statewide efforts on broadband Internet policy. The MBTF is made up of representatives from the Department of Information Technology Services, the Public Utilities Staff, the Mississippi Development Authority and the Office of the Governor.
The MBTF received federal stimulus funds in late 2009 and through a competitive selection process selected a vendor, BroadMap, to provide information about where broadband Internet is available in the state. That mapping process has led to an interactive Broadband Map that will be continuously updated and improved over time.
In September 2010, the State received additional funds to develop the Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition, a non-profit public-private partnership focused on producing a comprehensive statewide strategic plan for improving digital literacy, increasing access to broadband, and enabling greater adoption of broadband in the state.
Through a partnership with Mississippi State University Extension Service that will begin in 2011, this statewide strategic plan will be translated into activity in all parts of the state. Extension Service personnel will be responsible for holding planning meetings at the regional and local level designed to identify barriers to adoption of broadband internet and local solutions. These individuals also will provide technical assistance to local communities to help them take advantage of all the services that broadband Internet provides.
Over the life of this multi-year grant program, Mississippi hopes to improve broadband access and use for its citizens and maximize its benefits for the state.
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