SALT LAKE CITY – Utah has been attracting businesses due to the state’s exceptional level of high-speed Internet access and communications infrastructure, according to a new report released by the Utah Broadband Project. The Utah Broadband Advisory Council Report details the findings and recommendations of the Utah Broadband Advisory Council during its first year of meetings.

“Utah enjoys a greater level of connectivity than many other states with similar population densities and geography, largely due to the collaboration that exists between public and private entities,” says Tara Thue, manager of the Utah Broadband Project. “We have found that many of these partnerships are unique to Utah, and we are often asked to share these achievements with other states.”

Examples of public/private cooperation in Utah include the following:
• The Utah Department of Transportation facilitates the expansion of broadband infrastructure into rural areas by conducting cooperative fiber and conduit trades with broadband service providers and has a practice of laying fiber during road construction projects.
• The Utah Education Network has worked with local telecommunications service providers to negotiate discounted funding for broadband to connect more than 1,000 schools, colleges and libraries, most with gigabit-speed connections.

The Council, which includes both public and private entities, has met monthly to discuss how broadband access impacts education, libraries, economic development, public safety, health care, and transportation, as well as rural and tribal areas. For each of these focus subjects, the report provides specific recommendations for Governor Gary R. Herbert, the Utah State Legislature and other interested parties to consider.

Utah Leads US in Home Broadband Adoption
Utah has received national recognition for its extensive broadband infrastructure and high adoption rate. According to a 2011 report published by the U.S. Department of Commerce entitled Exploring the Digital Nation: Computer and Internet Use at Home, Utah ranked first in average home broadband adoption. In its most recent State of the Internet report, Akamai Technologies ranked Utah as having the fourth fastest Internet speeds in the nation, leading all western states.

Utah is known as a strategic location for national connectivity and has attracted high-tech companies such as Adobe Systems, Inc. Most of Utah’s populated areas are covered by some type of broadband service.