Polk Broadband Plan - Page 23

POLK COUNTY BROADBAND PLAN The Planning Process In general terms, comprehensive planning is an all-inclusive effort to guide the long-range future of a community, with a focus on physical development. A comprehensive plan typically consists of a study of existing conditions and a discussion of future trends, goals, and objectives, covering elements such as land use, housing, roadways and other infrastructure, population growth, economic development, and conservation.7 In addition to having a comprehensive plan, many communities have separate plans for specific elements (for example, many cities have transportation plans). In Florida, state legislation has required all local governments to develop and adopt comprehensive plans since the 1980s.8 The comprehensive planning process is the set of actions that are performed in order to complete the plan; this typically includes data collection, data analysis, goal setting, citizen and stakeholder participation, writing the final plan, and evaluating the effort in retrospect. The Polk County Broadband Plan was developed following a Broadband Demand Planning Process that was established as part of the Local/Regional Broadband Planning Toolkit and Training Manual. The process has four major steps: Identification of community champions, data collection, needs analysis, and plan creation. The steps are described in detail in this section. 1. Identify Community Champion(s) a. Utilize an existing community organization, or b. Form a broadband committee, or c. Both A community or regional broadband planning effort will require the dedication of an organization or group of individuals who are committed to the effort of planning for their region’s future broadband needs. These people will be the “champions” of the effort. An existing community organization may be utilized or a committee of broadband experts and influential community leaders may be formed. In some cases it may be appropriate to utilize both a community organization and a broadband committee. The goal is to bring together a diverse group of individuals from the public and private sectors who care about broadband planning and have sufficient time and expertise to commit to the project. 2. Data Collection a. Community profile b. Assets analysis c. Broadband utilization/penetration i. Surveys ii. Discussion Guides iii. Interviews iv. Federal Communication Commission broadband data d. Projections i. Population ii. Employment 7 John B. Conglose. Ohio State University Comprehensive Planning Fact Sheet. http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/1269.html 8 Roy R. Carriker. “Comprehensive Planning for Growth Management in Florida.” Food and Resource Economics Department EDIS document FE642. http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00001351/00001 21