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State releases broadband goals

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

By Journal Star.com

The state of Nebraska's broadband action plan and goals, five years in the making, were released Friday.

More than 60 percent of Nebraska businesses now sell goods and services online, said Lt. Gov. John Nelson, who chairs the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, and whose office released the plan.

The plan sets goals for broadband availability and adoption for 2020, including having service with a speed of 25 megabits per second available to 90 percent of Nebraska households and having more than 90 percent of Nebraska households subscribe to broadband.

It also reviewed the state's broadband service as it is now.  Broadband availability in Nebraska has improved over the past three years with 99.5 percent of Nebraskans now having access to service with download speeds of greater than 10 Mbps, the report said.

Household adoption of broadband has increased to 82 percent of Nebraska households according to the report, and more than 80 percent of Nebraska businesses use smartphone technology.

Additionally, the plan includes recommendations to encourage investment, develop a skilled information technology workforce, support innovation, develop libraries as community anchor institutions and to improve digital literacy and broadband access.

The development of a state broadband plan is the culmination of a five-year broadband mapping and planning initiative paid for by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Partners in the Nebraska Broadband Initiative were the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, Nebraska Public Service Commission, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and AIM, the nonprofit that promotes technology and innovation.

The plan is available from the Nebraska Information Technology Commission’s website (http://www.nitc.ne.gov/news/community/broadband_plan.html). Broadband in Nebraska, a video produced by the University of Nebraska, highlights the findings of the plan and is available on YouTube.

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