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Broadband Planning to Support Economic Development: Hembree

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This presentation was delivered at NADO's 2018 Annual Training Conference, held in Charlotte, NC on October 13-16. For more information, visit:

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Broadband Planning to Support Economic Development: Hembree

  1. 1. “Without direct and focused investment in this infrastructure, the region will slip further behind the rest of the state's technology advancements.” – Basic Tenet, Land of Sky Regional Broadband Initiative
  2. 2. 2015 Broadband Identified as Priority for Economic Development
  3. 3. WestNGN Partnership formed to incentivize high- speed broadband investments among the most urbanized communities in the region along the current available public networks. Partners included: • UNC-Asheville • NC State University • NC Broadband Office • Community Stakeholders • Education and Research Consortium (ERC) • Lenoir-Rhyne University - Asheville • Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition • Southwestern Commission Six Cities
  4. 4. Middle-Mile Network
  5. 5. Phase I 2016 •73 leaders hosted by UNCA to learn of Next Generation Network in RTP •6 Municipalities agree to form West Next Generation Network Phase I Spring 2017 •2nd regional gathering of 83 leaders explored future technology needs •Community profiles developed •Broadband-friendly policies agreed upon Phase I Summer 2017 •Request for Negotiation (RFN) released in August •Future of Technology visioning document developed by Lenoir Rhyne & UNCA
  6. 6. Phase I Fall 2017 •7 proposals reviewed •6 firms interviewed Phase I Spring 2018 •Hotwire (Asheville, Waynesville) •RiverStreet (Biltmore Forest, Fletcher, Hendersonville, Laurel Park) •Charter for current services Phase I May 2018 •Summit at UNCA to introduce firms •Firms assess market opportunities •Combine WestNGN Phase I & Phase II
  7. 7. Phase II Winter 2018 •Regional Broadband Summit (January 2019) •Community profiles for Phase II Phase II Spring 2018 •Asset mapping – vertical and horizontal assets •Regional Broadband Survey Phase II Summer/Fall 2018 •Identify priority locations for connections to under-served communities •Create Deployment Plan
  8. 8. Continue partnership with ERC Focus on rural, less urbanized areas Form sector- specific partnerships Next Steps
  9. 9. Lessons Learned Economic Development, Not Technology Get the Right People in the Room & the Wrong Ones Out Partnership, Partnership, Partnership Keep Focus on the BHAG
  10. 10. Justin Hembree 828.251.6622