Office of the Governor, State of Mississippi
State Broadband Capacity Building:
These funds will support the creation of the Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition, a non-profit public-private partnership focused on producing a comprehensive statewide strategic plan for improving digital literacy, increasing access to broadband, and enabling greater adoption of broadband in the state. The coalition will operate under the direction of the state broadband coordinator and will consist of several working groups, divided among key policy areas, to develop solutions to the problems identified by the working group.
In partnership with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, (MSU-ES), the State of Mississippi will conduct a survey targeted to households and businesses in the second and fifth years of the project. MSU-ES will also initiate roundtable meetings across different geographic areas to disseminate the state plan, mapping data, best practices, ideas for collaboration and information on funding sources for local activities. MSU-ES will work in geographic pockets of the state identified by the mapping project as unserved or underserved, including Choctaw tribal lands and socioeconomically distressed regions.
Local Regional Technology Planning Teams:
This funding will support the work of the MSU-ES to organize local/regional planning teams in underserved areas of the state, and also provide the Mississippi Broadband Task Force and Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition with logistical support to organize planning meetings, provide meeting space, and disseminate material to aid regional/local teams. The regional teams will review and comment on the draft recommendations developed by the state coalition. Finally, the MSU-ES coordinators will help the local teams identify public and private sources to finance their planning programs and identified activities.
Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:
This project was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.