On March 21, 2018, the League released “Leaping the Digital Divide: Encouraging Policies and Partnerships to Improve Broadband Access Across North Carolina," a report recommending policy changes designed to better enable and encourage public-private partnerships to improve broadband access across North Carolina. The report is co-authored by NCLM Legislative Counsel Erin Wynia and Joanne Hovis, president of CTC Technology and Energy and a recognized expert on communications policy at the federal, state and local levels. A foreword from Brookings Institute Fellow Blair Levin explains the need for critical examination of this issue.
The League undertook this effort to advocate for
solutions so that communities across North Carolina are not left behind economically
when it comes to this critical 21st century infrastructure. We also
hope this report can serve to educate regarding the many complex issues around
broadband access. Besides the extensive recommendations, we believe this detailed
and in-depth analysis will serve as a great resource to explain underlying
problems that have led to gaps in broadband access, how the problem is
understated by widely published data, public-private partnership models, and
how local policies can also encourage better broadband availability.To keep this gap from persisting and growing, state policy must change to help unleash new business models and partnerships, fostering the type of government-private sector cooperation and investment required to meet the unique needs of all areas of the state.