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Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering Broadband Study

Description
When the state of Connecticut received federal funding to collect data to determine the availability of broadband across the state and identify what public policy goals will support universal connectivity to high speed broadband for all citizens and communities, they turned to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) to manage a process to develop a Strategic Plan for Accessibility to Broadband Services in Connecticut. CASE engaged CERC to perform the necessary research as part of the planning process to develop a comprehensive strategy.

Issues
Broadband provides a greatly enhanced means for businesses to stay connected, innovate, and create jobs - and Connecticut needs accessible and affordable broadband so that businesses and consumers can reap the benefits of broadband technology to efficiently and economically develop their reach across the state and indeed the world. The state needs to determine how best to leverage its existing resources and generate necessary investments in broadband, as well as understand the public questions regarding making accessibility "affordable", how to speed deployment to every corner of the state, and how to increase adoption to the highest extent possible.

Deliverables
CERC was in charge of the following: (1) facilitating visioning workshops and listening sessions with stakeholders to research issues and barriers related to universal and enhanced accessibility and adoption to broadband in Connecticut; (2) designing methodology and conducting consumer and business surveys and interviews to gain insight for and test the premises underlying the state’s Strategic Plan; (3) conducting a review of best practices of programs, policies and actions of other key states and countries; and (4) writing the findings and recommendations in a full technical report. Once the findings and recommendations wee delivered, CERC worked with CASE to develop supporting material for messaging of the Strategic Plan.

Outcomes
The final report and strategic plan were issued in January 2012. CERC then presented the findings and recommendations during several meetings throughout the state to provide business leaders and policy makers with the information they need to coordinate next steps. The report and executive summary are available online at ctcase.org.