The Idaho Broadband Task Force that Governor Brad Little assembled earlier this year has completed and submitted its recommendations and full report to improve broadband connectivity for communities and businesses across Idaho.

Governor Little signed an executive order in May establishing the task force. He directed the group to develop a plan to improve broadband access, speed, and infrastructure across Idaho. Over the past six months, the task force worked diligently to come up with actionable recommendations to improve broadband level connectivity in both rural and urban Idaho.

“In a data-driven society, connectivity is imperative for a vital economy. Improved broadband infrastructure ensures both urban and rural Idaho will be connected and well-positioned to attract business and enhance our citizens’ quality of life,” Governor Little said. “The task force members worked under an accelerated timeline to come up with the recommendations, and I appreciate them for their hard work.”

The task force’s recommendations include updating the state’s broadband plan for maximizing federal funds, establishing a state broadband office, formalizing “dig once and hang once” policies for substantially lowering investment costs, and some specific calls to action in some of the most underserved rural areas. Ongoing regional activities are also planned for the near term. The full report is available here.

The Governor will review the recommendations and determine which ones will be included in his budget and policy recommendations for the 2020 legislative session.

"Broadband connectivity and high-speed internet are strategic and economic priorities for Idaho," Idaho Department of Commerce Director Tom Kealey said. "Our task force developed meaningful recommendations for Governor Little that will dramatically improve connectivity and service levels for communities, businesses and citizens across all of Idaho. We thank all task force members and those interested parties across Idaho that contributed to the recommendations for the Governor.”

The broadband task force is comprised of internet service providers, satellite providers, cellular providers, and other industry experts along with university, tribal, legislative, state, county and municipal representatives.

To learn more about broadband in Idaho, click here.

(1) comment

CAPT Seabee

Actually went to the Broadband site and read the report. Broadband is defined at 25mbps down and 3mbps up. Teams were composed of providers and legislators primarily. Their case studies of rural pretty much centered on poster child companies that "Gee, I coulda been a contender" but for lack of decent internet. I'm very disappointed over the lack of attention to "family" and "residential."

The term "family" is used once in relation to the Federal minimum service if you're below the poverty level. The report mentions "residential" seven times, pretty much in context of services provided. A couple of utility companies provide broadband for a very low rate that gets tacked on the electric bill.

The results of the study you could probably predetermine ahead of time. We need to get more competitive begging for money.

Government gets in the way too much. Criticism aside, it's good that people that matter are at least talking about it. Biggest problem is Federal down to local government is always too little, too late. If you're laying out the future, don't shoot for watching one 4K TV event in the house and nobody else can do anything. The target which should last us at least 10-15 years is 1Gb/sec. More for businesses. So the dig once/hang once concept will fail if all we'd see is the current broadband definition that finally shows up when the world moved on and we have a similar service and performance gap we have now.

(Edited by staff.)

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