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Community Broadband Summit

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National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.


Notice of open meeting.


The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), through the BroadbandUSA program, will hold a regional broadband summit, “Big Sky Broadband Workshop,” to share information to help communities build their broadband capacity and utilization. The summit will present best practices and lessons learned from broadband network infrastructure build-outs and digital inclusion programs from Montana and surrounding states, including projects that NTIA awarded through its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant programs and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[1] The summit will also explore effective business and partnership models and will include access to regional policymakers, federal funders, and industry providers.


The Big Sky Broadband Workshop will be held on August 31, 2016, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and September 1, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mountain Daylight Time.


The meeting will be held in Montana at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3720 N. Reserve St., Missoula, MT 59808.

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Barbara Brown, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 4628, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 280-8260; email: Please direct media inquiries to NTIA's Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-7002; email:

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NTIA's BroadbandUSA program provides expert advice and field-proven tools for assessing broadband adoption, planning new infrastructure, and engaging a wide range of partners in broadband projects. BroadbandUSA convenes workshops on a regular basis to bring stakeholders together to discuss ways to improve broadband policies, share best practices, and connect communities to other Start Printed Page 49210federal agencies and funding sources for the purpose of expanding broadband infrastructure and adoption throughout America's communities.

The Big Sky Broadband Workshop features subject matter experts from NTIA's BroadbandUSA initiative and will include NTIA presentations that discuss lessons learned through the implementation of the BTOP and SBI grants. A panel will explore key elements required for successful broadband projects using a mix of regional examples. Topics will include marketing and demand aggregation, outreach, coordinating with government agencies, partnership strategies, construction, and oversight. A second panel will explore why broadband matters in comprehensive community planning and will provide real-world examples about how broadband applications help communities improve economic development, workforce development and education opportunities. A third panel will examine business model options, including private networks, public/private partnerships, co-ops, and municipal systems. Panelists will provide tips to communities on how to research funding options, make a compelling case to funders, and leverage multiple federal and state and non-profit funding streams.

The summit will be open to the public and press. Pre-registration is requested, and space is limited. Portions of the meeting will be webcast. Information on how to pre-register for the meeting and how to access the free, live webcast will be available on NTIA's Web site:​other-publication/​2016/​bigskybroadbandworkshop. NTIA will ask registrants to provide their first and last names and email addresses for both registration purposes and to receive any updates on the summit. If capacity for the meeting is reached, NTIA will maintain a waiting list and will inform those on the waiting list if space becomes available. Meeting updates, changes in the agenda, if any, and relevant documents will be also available on NTIA's Web site at​other-publication/​2016/​bigskybroadbandworkshop.

The public meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as language interpretation or other ancillary aids, are asked to notify Barbara Brown at the contact information listed above at least five (5) business days before the meeting.

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Dated: July 22, 2016.

Kathy D. Smith,

Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

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1.  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 11-5, 123 Stat. 115 (2009).

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[FR Doc. 2016-17734 Filed 7-26-16; 8:45 am]