County Broadband Initiatives
How do counties take on broadband planning? How do counties prioritize and set up a competitive bid process? What approaches and resources have been most successful? Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities, will guide our panel as they answer these questions and more. Sybil Tate, Assistant County Manager in Person County, NC, will provide her hands-on experience in county broadband planning and share the keys to her success. Eric Frederick, Vice President for Community Affairs for Connected Nation, will share his federal perspective on the importance of county broadband efforts. With a special emphasis given to local and state efforts in the Trump Administration's infrastructure proposal, counties could be the lynchpins to building broadband.
Prior to her role as the Executive Director of Next Century Cities, Deb was the Executive Director of the Tech Goes Home program whose mission is to ensure digital equity. Previously, Deb spent 32 years as an educator and administrator. She was the founding principal of the award winning Lilla G. Frederick Middle School, a Boston Public School where she led the one-to-one laptop initiative. Deb has been the recipient of many awards for her work, including recognition as the NATOA Community Broadband Hero in 2013, the 2013 Pathfinder Award from MassCUE (Mass Computer Using Educators), and the 2010 Leadership and Vision award from CRSTE (Capitol Region Society for Technology in Education).
Professional experience: As the Assistant County Manager in Person County, Sybil supervises and manages eight departments; primarily development services/land use, solid waste and community/culture departments. Responsibilities also include budgeting and managing capital projects, such as the comprehensive solid waste study, public safety communication system upgrade project, and the county’s efforts to expand broadband. Sybil graduated from Davidson College in 1998 and received her Masters of Public Administration frrom UNC Chapel Hill- School of Government in 2007.
Eric Frederick is the Vice President for Community Affairs for Connected Nation and the Executive Director for Connect Michigan. Mr. Frederick is a broadband community planning expert and a sought-after speaker on broadband and technology issues with eleven years of experience working with local and international stakeholders to improve the access, adoption, and use of broadband. Mr. Frederick’s long-term and comprehensive approach to technology-related community development provides the hundreds of communities and thousands of stakeholders engaged by Connected Nation with wide-ranging insights, education, and solutions to create digitally inclusive and equitable communities. Mr. Frederick holds a bachelor’s degree in community planning from Northern Michigan University and a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State. Additionally, Eric is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional.
This webinar series is free and open to the public.