FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free market think tank, has joined forces with Citizens for a Digital Future, a coalition of several prominent national and Kentucky organizations, to rid the commonwealth of obstacles that stand in the way of increasing availability of — and access to — broadband and digital technologies.
“The potential for wireless and broadband is unlimited in our state, but the Legislature must get out the bush hog and begin to clear out the underbrush of antiquated, outdated regulations that keep telecom companies from increasing their investment in the infrastructure needed to increase wireless coverage in Kentucky,” said Jim Waters, interim president of the Bluegrass Institute.
Waters spoke at a recent teleconference launching the Kentucky chapter of Citizens for a Digital Future.
Joining Waters was Bryan Sunderland, vice president of public affairs for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, who emphasized that increasing access to broadband will help pave the commonwealth’s road to prosperity.
“With seven states along our border and technology making it increasingly easy for businesses to locate anywhere, it is essential that Kentucky maintain a competitive edge in the race for jobs and economic growth,” Sunderland said. “Availability of broadband plays an important role in supporting and fostering job growth.”
Others who participated in the tele-conference launch included CDF chairman John Watson, Gary Gerdemann, executive director of CDF-Kentucky, and Hance Haney, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a national public policy think tank.
Expanding — and improving — Kentucky’s tele-communications infrastructure will also play a critical role in our future education policy, Waters said.
“Technology — especially that which utilizes broadband tools like tablets and iPads — already plays a primary role in preparing our students for the challenges of the 21st century workplace,” Waters said.
A recent report by the institute, “Digital Learning Now: Obstacles to Implementation in Kentucky,” calls upon legislators and education leaders to increase students’ access to more virtual and blended-learning class tracks.