The Utah Broadband Project recently released the Utah Broadband Plan, the culmination of almost five years of work paid for by a federal grant. This builds upon the Utah Broadband Map and a report on broadband adoption within the state. The report has four main objectives:
- Strengthen and Grow Existing Utah Businesses, Urban and Rural
- Increase Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Investment
- Increase National and International Business
- Prioritize Education to Develop the Workforce of the Future
The first unfortunate thing that pops up is that the group that put together the report recommends against treating broadband like the utility it is, yet it also rightly calls it “infrastructure”. Despite broadband being more-or-less unregulated as it is and leading to no competitive choice for 25Mbps+ for 55% of Americans, they state flatly that regulation “would be costly and could result in undesired impacts including constraining industry growth”. This strikes an immediate poor response for the many Utahns who, even in urbanized areas of Salt Lake City, cannot purchase wired service that meets the legal definition of broadband.