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Connected Nation broadband & data mapping work named among best in industry, finalist in U.S. Broadband Awards

Bowling Green, Ky. (October 4, 2023) – Connected Nation (CN)’s Geospatial Services team was named a finalist on Oct. 3 in the U.S. Broadband Awards in the category of “best broadband & data mapping solution or initiative.”

“Our mission to close the Digital Divide is an ambitious one, and to be effective in this course requires having access to the most complete, accurate, and relevant data to identify exactly WHERE this challenge persists” said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, CN.  “From the beginning,  we have long prioritized hiring the best, most innovative GIS personnel in the business and equipping them with cutting-edge technology and procedures to do some truly remarkable things.  This strategy has served us and our partners well over the course of more than two decades.  In addition, this innovator’s mindset has allowed our organization to lead with many industry breakthroughs with today’s honor representing yet another ‘first-of-its-kind’ product.”

The U.S. Broadband Awards were established to honor “the best solutions, programs, use cases, technology, and individuals throughout the broadband industry.”   CN entered its work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) into the broadband & data mapping category. During this partnership, Geospatial Services created an interactive dashboard and broadband coverage map (below image: screen shot of dashboard; copies provided upon request).

Michigan Dashboard 1

“This was a massive undertaking that emphasized coordination between personnel, technology, and data across multiple organizations,” said Colin Reilly, Vice President, Data Strategy & Technical Services, CN. “In the end, the product provided the state of Michigan the ability to challenge locations on new federal broadband maps that showed coverage where it either did not exist or was overstated. That ultimately helped Michigan position itself in a much better place for receiving federal funding through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. That commitment to residents and businesses is partly the reason Michigan will likely become one of the best-connected states in the Union over the next few years.”

 The project demonstrated CN’s expertise in the telecommunications field audit space and infrastructure mapping. The team started with a dataset of telecom assets and infrastructure to build off of and began to precisely show where 100/20 service was, and importantly, where it was not given known coverage during the time of the audit.

“Being a finalist in this category is an incredible honor especially when you consider the caliber of the other nominees,” added Reilly. “It shows that CN is taking the correct approach to this critical need for better broadband mapping and data collection.”

The winners of the U.S. Broadband Awards will be announced on Thursday, November 16 at an awards reception taking place in Washington, DC. To learn more about the honors and the finalists, head to this website. 

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About Connected Nation: The national nonprofit’s mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. Learn more at