The Consortium, a collaboration of BroadMap, New America Foundation and One Economy, ensures the most accurate, fully verified and up-to-date information available for broadband mapping, enabling states to more effectively compete for ARRA funds. The BISC’s full-scale approach also provides states with strategies to address demand, such as digital literacy, relevant content and public policy.
“Each state’s needs are different. An effective mapping solution must have the flexibility to respond accordingly. BISC offers a turn-key approach or can tailor programs with varying levels of support to best position each state when they apply for the broadband funding through the ARRA,” said Daniel Perrone, CEO of BroadMap. “Our collective experience and platform enable us to compile the multiple layers of real-time data of location and serviceability, either as a full-service approach or as a complement to state efforts.”
Broadband maps created with geographic information system (GIS) technology provide an advantage to states during the application process for the $4 billion of funds available. The Consortium provides broadband serviceability data specified to user locations in GIS-compatible map layers, while incorporating and dynamically updating the nation’s most comprehensive database of consumer and business information. These data points and processes create the exacting level of detail and accuracy that each state needs to identify unserved and underserved areas.
“Our solution allows us to work with each state to build a program that best fits its unique needs,” said Michael Calabrese, VP and Director of the Wireless Future Program for the New America Foundation. “The Consortium goes beyond meeting the requirements of the NOFA to also deliver data, mapping visualization and/or output reports based on the objectives of each state’s broadband expansion plan.”
States will compete for federally funded grants and loans to build and expand broadband infrastructure, public computing centers, and sustainable broadband adoption programs. Funds are also available for states to create and maintain GIS broadband maps.
“Our Consortium is uniquely positioned to rapidly document gaps in service provision, leverage broadband consumers for data verification, identify obstacles to adoption, and move very quickly to advance solutions,” said Ken Eisner, Managing Director, OE Ventures at One Economy. “While ’supply-side’ mapping to identify unserved and underserved areas will be the immediate priority, the collection of ’demand-side’ data can advance state, provider and nonprofit efforts to ultimately achieve universal deployment and adoption.”
The BISC will gather required data and confirm the accuracy of the data and surveys through additional sources. Data collection at the local level will be gathered from consumers, leveraging New America’s Measurement-Lab collaboration with Google, and community-based sources, such as One Economy’s national Digital Connectors, who provide digital literacy training, and data collection and verification in underserved communities. Mapping information on digital literacy, relevant content, and awareness is essential data that goes beyond measuring maximum speeds.
BroadMap aggregates critical data from local and national sources and conducts independent verification processes to create and provide the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date maps available.
New America Foundation is a nonpartisan public policy institute that emphasizes ideas responsive to the changing conditions and problems of our 21st Century information-age. The institute is led by President and CEO Steve Coll, former managing editor of The Washington Post, and a Board of Directors, chaired by Eric Schmidt (Google Chairman and CEO).
One Economy Corporation uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology to low-income people. Its digital inclusion programs have delivered broadband to more than 300,000 Americans. The organization’s Digital Connectors, a national youth corps, are trained to increase digital awareness in their communities.