Broadband Conference Aims To Connect With Decision Makers
Tuolumne, CA — Around 100 people were on hand Wednesday afternoon at the Central Sierra Broadband Conference at the Black Oak Casino Resort.
There was a mix of business and government leaders from a multi-county region, and local internet service providers. The event was put on by the Tuolumne County Department of Innovation and Business Assistance and sponsored by groups like the Central Sierra Economic Development District.
The purpose was to network and learn about state and federal programs available to expand broadband infrastructure.
Cole Przybyla, Tuolumne County’s Director of Innovation and Business Assistance, opened up the afternoon meeting. Click on the video box to view his statements.
The chair of the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, Sherri Brennan, was the second speaker. She highlighted the need to make broadband “available and reliable.” In addition to the economic benefits, she spoke about public safety, noting that one-third of the local senior population live in geographically isolated areas. She also stressed the need to work across county boundaries to find regional solutions.
The keynote speakers were Stephanie Tom, Deputy Director of Broadband and Digital Literacy with the California Department of Technology and Kimberly Dolbow-Vann, the Rural Development State Director with the USDA.
Tom highlighted Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Broadband for All” initiative and the commitment in his budget to expand broadband to rural areas. She encouraged those in attendance to collaborate, stay educated on what’s happening and attend California broadband meetings.
Dolbow-Vann spoke about several loans and grant programs available through the USDA. Rather than just going online to read the details, she encouraged those on hand to call her directly, to see which programs may work for different projects.
The event also featured speakers from T-Mobile and the Central Sierra Connect Consortium.