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Get Your Broadband Plan, Stan - Courtesy of the EPA

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The Obama Administration was deadly serious in September when they called for all Federal hands on deck to meet the challenges of deploying broadband everywhere. The EPA – yes, that EPA – along with the USDA’s Rural Utilities Services is rolling out a pilot program to offer communities broadband strategy planning assistance.

Ed Fendley lays out plans for Cool & Connected, the service he heads for the EPA. The program targets communities interested in using broadband to help revitalize small-town promote economic development. Cool & Connected is recruiting experts to assist communities with network buildouts and tactics that enable networks to deliver their promised benefits.

In today’s interview, Fendley provides details on eligibility requirements, rules and due dates. Participants also are encouraged to bring partnership to the table.

With the heavy focus on helping communities afford the cost of building broadband networks, we sometimes forget about the cost of planning for networks, particularly in small and midsize towns. The EPA believes its resources can be best brought to bear by pursuing this planning role.