Register Now for DRA's Eight State Broadband Summit
We know now more than ever that a more connected Delta region is a more productive Delta region. Broadband availability in our communities connects our people to increased educational and professional opportunities and creates jobs in the region.
In July, this was affirmed by the congressional testimony of The Honorable Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the United States Department of Commerce. He stated that “a key element of building the innovation economy of the future – one that supports new and better jobs, and enhances America’s global competitiveness – is expanding the availability and adoption of broadband access in America. In the near-term, investments in broadband infrastructure help create jobs and business growth by supporting the installation and upgrade of fiber-optic networks, wireless towers, and other high-tech components.”
“The positive impact of broadband technologies on economic growth and small business creation is clear,” he continued. “A November 2010 report by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) found that the Internet plays an integral role in helping small businesses achieve their strategic goals, improve competitiveness and efficiency, and interact with customers and vendors.”
The potential of these impacts are especially meaningful to the Delta region. Every day we work to strengthen small businesses based in the Delta. But we also recognize that investments in technology are going to be key to creating a Delta that is stronger and more economically diverse tomorrow than it is today. As we continue to increase access for our people to other areas of the country and across the world, we are building a stronger economy that will keep jobs, workers, and investment in the Delta.
This is why, through a partnership with broadband advocacy groups across the Delta’s eight state region, the Delta Regional Authority will be hosting the DRA Broadband Summit on October 22nd and 23rd.
Register now for this month’s DRA Broadband Summit
Just last year, we announced a partnership with Connect 2 Compete. C2C is working with the Federal Communications Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, and local technology companies to identify ways to provide basic technology literacy and highlight its importance.
At the Summit on October 23, Zach Leverenz, C2C’s new CEO, will join me to highlight exactly how we are working together to increase access to technology. Less than 50 percent of African American, Latino, elderly, and rural populations currently have broadband. That means the need for education and training on Broadband is greater here than in many communities across the country.
The DRA Broadband Summit will host Federal and State officials, including Anthony Wilhem, Program Director for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) at NTIA, for a thought-provoking conversation about the Broadband access in the Delta region, it’s challenges for increased access, and the opportunities before us.
Throughout the day, we will also share knowledge through panels that will explore:
• the progress of successful statewide initiatives;
• the funding sources available for city and county broadband projects; and
• the potential impacts of Broadband availability on jobs and education in the Delta
This convening of regional, state, and local leaders is a strong step towards connecting the Delta and its people to economic growth and opportunity. It will be a great opportunity for Delta states and their Governors to work together towards a more digital Delta.
Access to technology is a necessity to boost small businesses and grow the economy. These new initiatives are an example of how the Delta Regional Authority strives to do exactly that – by helping Delta communities to the next level of competitiveness, creating good-paying jobs and boosting the region's economy.
This month’s DRA Broadband Summit is free and open to the public and will take place at the FedEx Institute at the University of Memphis.
For those unable to attend in person, we will also be livestreaming the event at www.dra.gov.
To register online, click here
or visit http://www.dra.gov/
. For further information regarding the event, contact Amanda Richardson at email@example.com
or (501) 912-5722.