Polk Broadband Plan - Page 21

POLK COUNTY BROADBAND PLAN Project Background Broadband Polk Broadband Polk is a collaborative broadband planning effort involving Polk County citizens, business leaders, local governments, civic organizations, non-profits, educational institutions, economic development professionals, high tech experts, and key representatives from various segments of the local economy. Facilitated cooperatively by Polk Vision and the Central Florida Regional Planning Council, the Broadband Polk Advisory Committee has worked to raise awareness of the importance of robust broadband infrastructure in the 21st century economy and to develop a comprehensive broadband plan to address the current and future broadband needs of Polk County. The plan’s time horizon is the year 2020. Polk Vision Polk Vision is an organization of Polk County citizens, led by private, public, and civic leaders, committed to addressing critical issues facing the community and developing a common purpose. Polk Vision’s Guiding Principle is to cultivate a sense of community that fosters diversity, innovation, and pride in Polk County while emphasizing a sense of place and recognizing the many physical assets and unique cultures of the area.6 Broadband Planning Toolkit and Training Manual The Central Florida Regional Planning Council, in partnership with the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, received a grant from the State Department of Management Services (funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 via the NTIA) to develop a Local/ Regional Broadband Planning Toolkit and Training Manual. The Broadband Planning Toolkit contains all the databases, surveys, models, templates, and other tools necessary to assess broadband demand and create a comprehensive broadband plan. The Toolkit is applicable to any community or region, urban, suburban, or rural. The Broadband Planning Training Manual is intended to guide community leaders and stakeholders through the planning process, providing instruction as to the use and applicability of the Broadband Planning Toolkit. Key Stakeholders The following are the key stakeholders in the Broadband Polk planning effort. • Broadband providers • Businesses • C