Which States Have Dedicated Broadband Offices, Task Forces, Agencies, or Funds?

A review of state strategies for improving access

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Which States Have Dedicated Broadband Offices, Task Forces, Agencies, or Funds?

Editor’s Note: This article was updated Nov. 30, 2021, to reflect state-level changes since May 2021.

States differ in how they manage broadband deployment and which agencies or offices they task with identifying challenges, charting goals, and encouraging investment. Some states have a centralized office responsible for managing or coordinating broadband efforts. In others, multiple agencies have jurisdiction over broadband. More than half of states have established dedicated funds to support deployment of high-speed internet, and many have developed goals, plans, and maps for expansion of access.

The downloadable table indicates whether a state has the following:

  • Office: A centralized office for broadband projects.
  • Agency: State agency(ies) involved in broadband projects.
  • Task force: A formalized team—often involving multiple agencies and sectors—dedicated to broadband issues.
  • Broadband fund: A funding mechanism(s).
  • Broadband goal: The result that the state’s broadband program is working to achieve.
  • Broadband plan: A document that defines objectives, and the actions to be taken to reach them.
  • Broadband map: A mapping effort underway to identify where broadband is and isn’t.
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Source: Pew analysis of state data. This data is current as of Nov. 1, 2021.

To learn about the state laws that govern these efforts, visit our "State Broadband Policy Explorer."

Anna Read is a senior officer and Lily Gong is an associate with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ broadband access initiative.

State Broadband Policy Explorer
State Broadband Policy Explorer
Data Visualization

State Broadband Policy Explorer

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Data Visualization

State Broadband Policy Explorer

Pew’s broadband research initiative reviewed state statutes, executive orders, and other governing directives for “broadband” and related terms (e.g., “high-speed internet”). This tool also includes information on state broadband programs gathered from state websites. All information was provided to states for review and verification.

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Student at computer
Fact Sheet

3 Key Components to Effective State Broadband Programs

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Fact Sheet

States throughout the country have created programs to expand broadband connectivity for their residents. And although the configuration of these programs varies, research has indicated that the most successful ones include the same core components: a state-level broadband office with full-time staff, systems to support local and regional planning and technical assistance, and well-funded competitive grant programs for internet service providers, such as telephone and cable companies, wireless internet service providers, electric cooperatives, and municipal utilities

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Remote classroom
Article

Broadband Proved a Top Priority for State Policymakers

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Article

States nationwide committed last year to significant funding to expand access to broadband services, even amid an economic recession. The COVID-19 pandemic—and the necessity to move routine activities such as schooling and doctors’ visits online to maintain social distancing—sharpened the focus of governors and lawmakers in 2020 on the need to close the digital divide.