Ten More Connected Nation Partner Projects Receive Recovery Act Funding For Broadband Mapping and Planning Initiatives

New state projects will feature latest in broadband mapping technology

Washington, DC –Recently, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced grant awards for 10 Connected Nation state-level partner projects. Connected Nation has been selected by these nine states and one United States territory to launch comprehensive broadband mapping and planning initiatives in the interest of increasing broadband accessibility and use.

“When Congress passed legislation creating this grant program, they provided the pathway for a comprehensive approach to solving our nation’s broadband challenges. We are excited and humbled to be a part of this national effort to expand the use and availability of broadband,” said Brian R. Mefford, Connected Nation’s chief executive officer. ”Connected Nation’s mission is to achieve digital inclusion for all Americans. And, from experience, we have seen that every state, territory and community has its own unique technology challenges. Broadband mapping is the first step to getting where we need to be faster and with greater effectiveness.”

Awards include:

Florida: NTIA has awarded the Florida Department of Management Services approximately $2 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Florida, bringing the total grant award to approximately $2.5 million. The Florida Department of Management Services is the designated entity for the state of Florida.

Iowa: NTIA has awarded Connected Nation approximately $1.7 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and nearly $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Iowa, bringing the total grant award to approximately $2.2 million. Connected Nation is the designated entity for the state of Iowa.

Illinois: NTIA has awarded the Partnership for a Connected Illinois approximately $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and approximately $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Illinois, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.8 million. The Partnership for a Connected Illinois is the designated entity for the state of Illinois.

Michigan: NTIA has awarded Connected Nation approximately $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Michigan, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.8 million. Connected Nation is the designated entity for the state of Michigan.

Minnesota: NTIA has awarded Connected Nation approximately $1.2 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Minnesota, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.7 million. Connected Nation is the designated entity for the state of Minnesota.

Nevada: NTIA has awarded Connected Nation approximately $930,000 for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Nevada, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.4 million. Connected Nation is the designated entity for the state of Nevada.

Ohio: NTIA has awarded the Ohio Office of Information Technology approximately $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Ohio, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.8 million. The Ohio Office of Information Technology is the designated entity for the state of Ohio.

Puerto Rico: NTIA has awarded the Puerto Rico Office of the Chief Information Officer approximately $925,000 for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Puerto Rico, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.4 million. The Puerto Rico Office of the Chief Information Officer is the designated entity for the territory of Puerto Rico.

South Carolina: NTIA has awarded Connected Nation approximately $1.2 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in South Carolina, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.7 million. Connected Nation is the designated entity for the state of South Carolina.

Tennessee: NTIA has awarded Connected Tennessee approximately $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Tennessee, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.8 million. Connected Tennessee is the designated entity for the state of Tennessee.

As part of these initiatives, Connected Nation will be implementing a brand new interactive mapping tool for viewing, analyzing and validating broadband data. Called BroadbandStat, the new interactive mapping platform is a multi-functional, user-friendly way for local leaders, policymakers, consumers and technology providers to devise a plan for the expansion and adoption of broadband. BroadbandStat was developed by Connected Nation in conjunction with ESRI, the world market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software.

Connected Nation will soon be working with 12 states and one U.S. territory on the national broadband mapping effort. These efforts comprise approximately 42 percent of the country’s landmass and encompass approximately 39.5 million households.

More than $7 billion in stimulus funds have been designated to help expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities across the United States. These funds are available through NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the Rural Utilities Service’s Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). NTIA has received applications for the grant program from all 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia. The agency is currently reviewing the remaining 15 applications. The remaining awards are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

As the organization that produced the nation’s first granular statewide broadband availability map in 2005, Connected Nation is a prominent voice for the nation’s need for better broadband data. Connected Nation has completed statewide broadband availability maps for eight states, all prior to the current stimulus fund availability. In addition to these mapping projects, Connected Nation has worked with local communities to encourage broadband adoption and use. These programs, including computer donation, technology planning and economic development, are an essential step in closing the digital divide in the United States.

Connected Nation has worked closely with national leaders and provided numerous filings in support of a process for broadband data collection at the national level. To learn more about the programs that are helping more families and communities connect through broadband, visit www.connectednation.org.

Related Links:

ESRI: About BroadbandStat

Blog: Connected Tennessee Debuts Latest Innovation in Broadband Mapping

Press Release: Connected Nation State-level Digital Inclusion Work Highlighted at FCC Public Hearing

In the News: State to Map Its Broadband Access (AP via the Wichita Eagle, 12/08/09)

In the News: Editorial: Using Technology

In the News: Group To Map Internet Availability (Juneau Empire, 12/01/09)

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