• Universal Broadband for Today’s Needs: universal access to broadband at 3 Mbps download and 768 Kbps upload speeds, roughly commensurate with the Plan’s National Broadband Availability Target;
• Mobility: 98% availability of mobile wireless service, proposed by the Wireless Innovation Initiative; and
• Robust Broadband Markets: 85% availability of access to 50 Mbps fixed networks, which is comparable to the Plan’s goal that 100 million households have access to such networks by 2015.
The Index measures each county’s progress against each of these benchmarks, assigns a grade to each component, and calculates an overall grade. It will be updated every six months as the National Broadband Map,www.broadbandmap.gov, data is updated. The tool is intended to be used in support of state, local, and regional broadband planning initiatives.
“The broadband needs of a community are diverse, and the health of a community’s broadband infrastructure cannot be measured solely by reference to basic broadband speeds,” said Tom Koutsky, chief policy counsel for Connected Nation. “The Index assesses current broadband speeds, takes into account the economic benefits of mobility and high-speed platforms, and encapsulates those objectives into an easy-to-understand and powerful format. Community leaders will be able to use this index to drive and direct public-private partnerships to close these infrastructure gaps.”
The Broadband Readiness Index is being unveiled today at Mefford’s keynote speech at theTelecommunications Industry Association Conference in Dallas. The Index can be a catalyst for broadband expansion, and such related data collected by Connected Nation has already been used to identify local challenges and promote action to fill the gaps. (Click here and here for examples).
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