The Cape Cod Commission’s Draft Climate Action Plan is open for public comment until June 1. The Cape Cod Technology Council has submitted the following:
May 24, 2021
Cape Cod Commission
3225 Main Street
Barnstable, Massachusetts 02630
Re: Draft Climate Action Plan
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to offer comments from the Cape Cod Technology Council, Inc. (“CCTC”) on the Commission’s Draft Climate Action Plan (the “Draft Plan”). Founded in 1996, the CCTC is a membership based non-profit organization whose mission is to promote technology, education and economic development on Cape Cod, the Islands, and Southeastern Massachusetts. Our membership includes local Cape, Islands, and Southeastern Massachusetts businesses, technology innovators, educational organizations, government entities, working professionals, and community leaders.
The CCTC is committed to working within our community to mitigate the impacts of climate change. For example, the CCTC was a sponsor to the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative’s 2020 Net Zero Conference.
The CCTC supports the development of innovative solutions to address the challenges to the region. We support many of the innovative technology solutions proposed in the Draft Plan. In particular, the CCTC has a long history as a proponent of the deployment of broadband as an economic driver for the region, including participation in the Cape Cod Connect Project in collaboration with the Commission and other organizations. We agree with the Commission’s observation that:
With recent advancement in communications technologies, and wider acceptance of these technologies, many vehicle trips can be eliminated entirely. The COVID-19 pandemic made remote work, virtual public meetings, telehealth, and other virtual engagements much more common occurrences, which are likely to continue in many instances. To ensure virtual connectivity occurs in an equitable manner, attention will need to be paid to economic and geographic factors that can limit access to technology and high speed internet. [Draft Plan at 172, emphasis supplied].
We urge the Commission to focus particular attention on broadband deployment, not only because of the potential for its potential benefits to the region, with respect to resiliency, climate change mitigation, and economic development, but also because we are in a “once in a generation” availability of funding for broadband deployment. Broadband resources not only eliminate vehicle trips but have significant impacts on virtually every aspect of this report, from supporting the creation of new jobs to facilitating new energy options across the region. The membership of the CCTC includes subject matter experts in broadband deployment.
We note that the Commission proposes to continue to convene stakeholder groups in order to align efforts to grow the Cape Cod economy with climate actions offers. The CCTC is willing to participate in these efforts and looks forward to the opportunity to do so.
The CCTC appreciates your consideration of our views. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Jennifer Reid, President