The Gateway Area Development District (GADD) partnered with the Solarity Group to develop a comprehensive strategy for widespread broadband adoption and utilization throughout the five counties of the region. Grant monies were provided by the Commonwealth’s Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA) for this purpose.
Five months later, the partnership produced a strategic plan that was approved by the GADD board of directors.
Key factors in the success of this initiative included:
- The engagement of 50 representatives from all five counties, representing a variety of user sectors including healthcare, public safety, education, employment/economic development, general government and community
- Extensive education on broadband itself as a basic and necessary element of community infrastructure, especially moving into the future
- A focus on four core topics: affordable access, awareness of what broadband can bring to communities and industries, maximizing adoption, and governance of the network
This is exactly the type of collaboration effort we wanted to support with the grant funds we provided.” – Chris Moore, executive director of KCNA
- The facilitation of open discussions to address concerns and ensure all viewpoints were heard
- Garnering an ongoing commitment from community leaders towards implementation and adoption of broadband in their communities
- Recommendations for next steps, including tactical planning
“I appreciate the effort on our behalf and look forward to moving forward with the broadband initiative in our region.” – Gail Wright, executive director of GADD
Putting the plan into action
Since approving the Broadband Strategic Plan, GADD is putting the plan into action by creating a Broadband Oversight Board with representatives from each of the five counties and incorporated areas to drive the efforts of bringing affordable broadband access to the area.