Mountain State's Marketing and Communications coordinator speaking with Idaho's State Broadband Office Manager, Ramón Hobdey-Sanchez
In an enlightening one-on-one, Mountain State's Marketing and Communications Coordinator delves into the complex world of federal aid and policy navigation with Ramón Hobdey-Sanchez, Idaho's State Broadband Office Manager.
Hobdey-Sanchez articulates the careful considerations that go into selecting broadband expansion projects. He explained how the department prioritizes not just by need, but by sustainability and impact. The office's strategy involves a collaborative effort with local leaders, mapping out underserved areas and projecting the long-term benefits of each proposed project. Discussing the financial aspects, Hobdey-Sanchez revealed the robust framework Idaho uses to allocate funds. Highlighting the multi-million-dollar budget meticulously managed to maximize efficiency and impact. The state uses a combination of forecasting, trend analysis, and historical data to inform its budgetary decisions. Hobdey-Sanchez addressed the complexities of adhering to federal guidelines while trying to maintain state autonomy. He discussed specific strategies for aligning federal aid with state objectives, such as leveraging local policies and advocating for state-level discretion in the application of funds.
He doesn't shy away from discussing the challenges, from bureaucratic hurdles to ensuring equitable distribution of resources. Yet, Hobdey-Sanchez proudly speaks about the triumphs, including successful projects that have brought high-speed internet to remote communities, transforming lives and livelihoods.
As the interview wraps up, Hobdey-Sanchez shares his vision for Idaho's connected future. His passion for bridging the digital divide is palpable, as is his commitment to navigating the complexities of federal aid with the grace and resolve that has become his signature.
This extended blog post provides a deeper dive into the conversations and considerations that shape Idaho's approach to managing federal aid for broadband expansion. You can find the full interview with Ramón Hobdey-Sanchez HERE!
Please stay tuned as we near the release of our new research study "Plugged in – Five keys for expanding broadband coverage in a responsible way."