Polk Broadband Plan - Page 16

Executive Summary 14. Decrease Obstacles: Revise local regulations to eliminate potentially unnecessary restrictions or obstacles to installing services and infrastructure. Advocate at the State and Federal level for favorable regulations for the development of mobile systems, including the availability of spectrum. 15. Development Policy: Facilitate “fiber-to-the-home” infrastructure within new residential communities through the development and adoption of broadband infrastructure policies within the county and municipal comprehensive plans and/or land use and zoning codes. 16. Share and Communicate Ideas: Partner with broadband providers to share goals, assets, strategies, and obstacles. 17. Local Government Broadband Enterprises: Encourage local municipalities and counties with fiber or other broadband infrastructure to enter the broadband marketplace. 18. Telecommuting/Work-At-Home Policies: Increase residential demand by encouraging employers to adopt strategies and policies allowing employees the opportunity to telecommute. The following action items were identified: 1. Develop and maintain a Broadband Polk website to serve as the central hub for information sharing, communication, cooperation, and partnerships. 2. Identify all Anchor Institutions in Polk County that do not have 1 gigabit per second broadband services. 3. Meet with broadband providers to identify any obstacles to providing 1 gigabit per second services to the identified Anchor Institutions. 4. Encourage municipalities and new commercial providers to enter the Polk County broadband market. 5. Meet with University of South Florida representatives to discuss how Polk County could access and utilize Florida LambdaRail services. 6. Utilize the Broadband Polk webpage, social media, and email distribution lists to promote and disseminate broadband infrastructure and program funding information to Anchor Institutions. 7. Review broadband use at every library in Polk County to ensure that they are utilizing all available broadband funding opportunities. 8. Identify gaps in broadband service and utilization, especially due to affordability or education, and seek to establish Neighborhood Broadband Centers (see Strategy #4) where none currently exist. 9. Research opportunities and establish funding sources for the development of Neighborhood Broadband Centers. 10. Meet with broadband providers to discuss and develop a broadband audit program within Polk County. 11. Meet with Anchor Institutions to introduce the broadband audit program and encourage participation. 12. Meet with Anchor Institutions to encourage the development of meaningful employee suggestion programs, specifically programs that encourage and/or incentivize employees to submit ideas that use broadband technology to increase efficiency and improve services. 13. Reward and/or recognize Anchor Institutions that implement policy or programs that utilize broadband technology to increase efficiency and improve services. 14. Meet with business owners and business associations to discuss broadband access, broadband training opportunities, and funding opportunities. 15. Work with Chambers of Commerce and local economic development organizations to identify broadband intensive industries to target. 14