National Digital Education Extension Team/ECOP Broadband Program Action Team Participate in the BEAD Broadband Navigator Meeting

January 19, 2024

On November 13, 2023, Penn State University’s (PSU) new mapping tool was showcased at the BEAD Broadband Navigator: Empowering Data-Driven Local Projects workshop. This event served to increase the awareness of how broadband access can have far-reaching impacts including telehealth access, agricultural technology utilization, enhanced geospatial intelligence, and climate smart development. Representing PSU, Harry Crissy, James R. Ladlee, Thomas Beresnyak, Dana Ollendyke, Carla Snyder, and Daniel Brockett demonstrated their powerful new mapping tool which provides real-time data to help communities with broadband access planning.

In addition to the PSU team, Dr. Alison Copeland, Gail Huycke, Nick Pappin, and Dr. Roseanne Scammahorn represented the National Digital Education Extension Team (NDEET)/Extension Committee on Organization & Policy Broadband Program Action Team on the Local Project Creation Panel at the event. Dr. Copeland presented the keys to success to creating local projects to help broadband plan development start off with a good foundation. Mr. Pappin addressed how to engage and empower communities. Mrs. Huycke shared the key elements necessary to create strong and sustainable community partnerships. Dr. Scammahorn shared the purpose and mission of the Regional Rural Development Centers, and the unique and significant role Extension can play in educating communities across the country on the challenge and opportunities of the digital age.

The panelists were honored to share their insights and experiences of developing successful local broadband initiatives to industry leaders, Extension professionals, and community leaders. A special thank you to the PSU team for its ground-breaking work and the Rockefeller Foundation whose generous support enabled the development of national geospatial intelligence tools for local broadband project development.