Economic Vitality Corporation hosting broadband summit for SLO County
COVID-19 impacts highlight challenges of broadband coverage in rural county
–The Economic Vitality Corporation, in partnership with the Pacific Coast Broadband Consortium (PCBC), is hosting a SLO County Broadband Summit, free to all registrants on Thursday, Feb. 18, and Thursday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. both mornings. Featured speakers include Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Sunne McPeak, President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund.
As COVID highlighted the digital divide in San Luis Obispo County it is also presenting the opportunity to elevate the discussion that will help identify the path towards a sustainable solution. Representatives from government, education, and telecom providers worked together to develop the summit agenda and topics covered. The summit’s end goal is to determine how to move forward and who wants to be involved.
“Expanding broadband access and closing the digital divide is critical to SLO County’s future, both in shaping the course of economic growth and recovery and developing our workforce,” said Maria Kelly, Interim Executive Director of the EVC. “Aligning our efforts with the state’s Broadband Action Plan will position us to leverage innovative strategies and funding solutions.”
The push to increase access takes on additional scope as the EVC consolidates under the Reach umbrella.
“Even before the impacts of COVID, improving broadband infrastructure was a key element in our 10-year Reach 2030 plan to drive job creation, and closing the digital divide is imperative to our aim to grow from within by preparing residents for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Reach CEO Melissa James said. “Our approach is bringing people together to solve our most pressing challenges, and we look forward to carrying this important work forward.”