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Two Connected Nation State-Based Initiatives Receive National Recognition on Capitol Hill

Listen: Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass. on ConnectKentucky
Listen: Rep. Zachary T. Space, D-Ohio on Connect Ohio

As discussion of the National Broadband Plan moves forward, Connected Nation’s state-level work continues to garner attention on the national level.

In a hearing of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet held on Wednesday on Capitol Hill, two subcommittee members pointed to the work of Connected Nation in Kentucky and Ohio as successful models of broadband adoption and deployment programs in the United States.

The hearing examined assessments in the National Broadband Plan of the availability of broadband and how most effectively to deploy broadband to areas that are unserved and underserved, so all Americans can benefit from good-quality broadband services.

Representative Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., addressed questions about the Broadband Data Improvement Act, which was passed in 2008. Markey said that Congress modeled the BDIA after Connected Nation’s ConnectKentucky program, which began in 2004. The key components of the ConnectKentucky model include grassroots-level demand stimulation, community-based technology assessment teams, and the creation of public-private partnerships.

In addition to the mention of ConnectKentucky’s model,
Connect Ohio, another state-based Connected Nation program, received praise during the hearing. Representative Zachary T. Space, D-Ohio, said he had a lot of faith in the work being done at Connect Ohio and had a map of Ohio’s broadband coverage as proof.

Connect Ohio began in 2007 to help expand access to and use of broadband in Ohio. According to Connect Ohio’s
June 2009 Technology Assessment, 95 percent of Ohio households have available broadband service. This figure is up from 92 percent the previous year.

To listen to the full hearing,
download or stream the audio here.