Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has tapped Tony Neal-Graves, a former vice president of Intel Corp., to lead the state’s broadband expansion and enhancement efforts, according to a release from the governor’s office.
Neal-Graves, who started work Wednesday, March 15, serves as executive director in charge of Colorado’s broadband office, and his experience with Intel is expected to be an asset as he uses public-private partnerships to drive the state’s broadband strategy and expand high-speed access for its residents. Only 70 percent of Colorado’s rural residents currently have access to broadband, a number the state plans to raise to 85 percent by the end of 2018, and 100 percent by the end of 2020.
“We are working tirelessly to make sure every county throughout the state has the tools needed for economic development — especially in rural areas,” Hickenlooper said in the release. “Tony’s leadership will help move the needle so that all Coloradans have improved access to broadband services sooner rather than later.”
Neal-Graves' experience in the telecommunications arena extends past Intel, where he worked for 15 years. Before Intel, Neal-Graves spent 20 years working with industry giants such as AT&T, Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies.
The broadband office that Neal-Graves is heading up will be housed in the Governor’s Office of Information Technology, where officials say it will work closely with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Department of Local Affairs and other agencies.
Colorado Digital Transformation Officer Brandon Williams has emphasized how critical broadband is to the state, citing plans involving the Broadband Office that Neal-Graves is now spearheading.