Citing a need for widespread access to internet service across the San Luis Valley, a collaboration of non-profit and community leaders is spearheading an effort to ensure all communities are included in future build-out of broadband services.
The group leading the effort is called the San Luis Valley Regional Broadband Collaborative (SLVRBC). It was organized in the fall of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic grew, and represents the joint cooperation of the San Luis Valley Rural Philanthropy Days Regional Leadership Committee and the SLV Broadband Technical Steering Committee.
Following their formation, the SLVRBC said in statement, “Through robust dialogue, these stakeholders reaffirmed that equity cannot be achieved if certain communities do not have sufficient technology access for participation.”
To advance the goal of digital equity for the region’s most geographically isolated and underserved areas, the SLVRBC wants to hire someone as SLV Broadband Community Relations Manager to engage with all communities in the valley, especially those that may lack local government support, are unaware of the significance of their digital needs, or who have been frustrated by the immensity of the challenge.
In July of 2020, the SLV Rural Philanthropy Days Regional Leadership Committee conducted a needs assessment among regional non-profits that identified broadband access as a critical community need. Most notable among the responses was one that addressed the difficulty of accessing online education: “We had to provide internet to over 100 families in our community so that they could access their education, and few resources were available for that.” Other responses cited difficulty in being able to access telemedicine, e-commerce, social interaction, and civic engagement.
The SLVRBC hopes to select someone for the position of SLV Broadband Community Relations Manager in the first weeks of October. Applications and information for the position are available online at www.slvdrg.org.