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About Connected Nation


About Us

Connected Nation is a national nonprofit, based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that’s worked in the broadband and related technology space for more than 20 years.  

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to use technology to improve their lives, families, and communities — no matter who they are, where they live, or how they begin. 

We work at the community, state, and federal levels and with both public and private partners to work toward the common and important goal of expanding access, adoption, and use of broadband to ALL people. 

Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation

Helping communities and states close the Digital Divide.

The pandemic created a new understanding of the importance of connecting every individual, family, and community. As a result, there is now an unprecedented level of funding and priority for expanding access, adoption, and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies. 

Who lacks broadband?

43% of low-income families
13.23% of tribal residents
16.9 million school-aged children

20+ Years of Service and Counting

On November 17, Connected Nation marked 20 years of service in 2021 by hosting a one-of-a-kind, live event that aired nationally from three U.S. cities.

During this event, we brought together industry insiders, broadband experts, and those most directly impacted by the Digital Divide to discuss where we’ve been and what we’ve learned, how the pandemic changed the way we view and approach internet connectivity, and what’s next when it comes to access in America.

Watch this historic event below and feel free to share it with others as we work to spread understanding of the Digital Divide in our country.

Celebrating 20 Years of Service

Our Mission

Closing the Digital Divide

How Connected Nation is working to close the Digital Divide in America

Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation




Who are we?

Connected Nation is a nonprofit, 501(c)3, working to develop and provide tools, resources, and methods to help local communities, states, and federal agencies create and implement solutions to their broadband (high-speed internet) and digital technology gaps.


What do we do?

We assess and plan for the expansion of broadband access, adoption, and use. We do so by developing public-private partnerships to bring technology access to targeted geographies and populations. That work also includes developing programs focused on empowering people with technology skills and resources to improve their quality of life.


What do we believe?

We believe everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. That means everyone should have opportunities to improve their lives, families, and communities regardless of who they are, where they live, or how they begin.


Who advises Connected Nation?

Connected Nation’s Board of Directors provides strategic and comprehensive oversight to our work on all levels. Local, state, and federal elected officials, representatives from K-12 education, health care, higher education, tourism, agriculture, libraries, and business, etc., also have input as we develop and implement programs and approaches to help urban and rural communities of all sizes expand their broadband access, adoption, and use.


What is Connected Nation’s relationship to broadband providers?

We are a neutral party that is committed to meeting our mission by working with any and all providers of broadband service. We have an open door as to how to develop that relationship — with the extent and depth of that relationship often being defined by the provider themselves. Our connections and neutral approach to developing plans for broadband expansion is what makes it possible for us to build effective public-private partnerships within communities at the local, state, and federal levels.


How is Connected Nation funded?

Connected Nation is designed as a private-public partnership. Our funding comes from a variety of sources depending on the scope of a particular project or program. That funding includes but is not limited to, foundations, state and federal grants, local community contributions, and more.

Glossary of Terms

The term for the 3rd generation wireless telecommunications standards usually with network speeds of less than 1 Mbps.

The term for 4th generation wireless telecommunications standards is usually with network speeds greater than 1 Mbp

The term for emerging 5th generation wireless telecommunications standards is usually associated with network speeds of up to 1 Gbps or more.

A connection in which the maximum transfer rate is different for download and upload speeds.

A major high-speed transmission line that strategically links smaller high-speed internet networks across the globe.

The portion of a broadband network in which the local access or end user point is linked to the main internet network. Also referred to as the “middle mile.”

The capability of telecommunications and internet networks to transmit data and signals.

The base unit of information in computing. For our purposes, also the base unit of measuring network speeds. A single piece of information is equal to 1 bit. Network speeds tend to be measured by bits per second — using kilo (1,000), mega (1,000,000), and giga (1,000,000,000). A bit is a part of byte; they are not synonyms. Bit is generally abbreviated with a lowercase b.

The term broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access. Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies, such as fiber, wireless, satellite, digital subscriber line, and cable. For the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), broadband capability requires consumers to have access to actual download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and actual upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps.

The use of broadband in places where it is available, measured as the percentage of households that use broadband in such areas. 

Cable television companies have offered internet access via their cable system for more than a decade. The network architecture uses a loop that connects each subscriber in a given neighborhood, meaning they all share one big connection to the internet. 

A telecommunication company’s building where consumers’ phone lines are attached to equipment that connects a consumer to other consumers in that central office or other central offices across the globe.

Schools, libraries, medical and health care providers, public safety entities, institutes of higher education and other community support organizations that provide outreach, access, equipment, and support services to facilitate greater use of broadband service by the entire population and local governments.

A reinforced tube through which cabling runs. Conduit is useful both to protect fiber-optic cables in the ground and because one can place the conduit underground when convenient and later “pull” the fiber cabling through the conduit.

Fiber that is in place but not being used for broadband services. (“non-lit” fiber, also see “lit fiber”).

The gap between those of a populace that has access to the internet and other communications technologies and those that have limited or no access.

Recognizes that digital access and skills are now required for full participation in many aspects of society and the economy. Digital Equity links Digital Inclusion to social justice and highlights that a lack of access and/or skills can further isolate individuals and communities from a broad range of opportunities.

Implies that individuals and communities have access to robust broadband connections; internet-enabled devices that meet their needs; and the skills to explore, create, and collaborate in the digital world.

The ability to leverage current technologies, such as smartphones and laptops, and internet access to perform research, create content, and interact with the world.

A form of technology that utilizes a two-wire copper telephone line to allow users to simultaneously connect to and operate the internet and the telephone network without disrupting either connection.

The government’s use of web-based and information technology resources to connect with citizens and provide online services and resources.

A flexible hair-thin glass or plastic strand that is capable of transmitting large amounts of data at high transfer rates as pulses or waves of light.