Web application supported by ESRI technology and Connected Nation
REDLANDS, Calif., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ --The states of Alaska and Kansas were recently awarded grants of $1.9 million and $2 million, respectively, to map statewide broadband Internet coverage. The maps will be made available to the public on BroadbandStat, a Web-based interactive application developed by ESRI and Connected Nation, using ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) technology.
The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded the grants to fund broadband mapping and planning activities under the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Both state projects will provide data to support the creation of a nationwide map that identifies broadband service needs and supports efforts to expand high-speed Internet service to unserved and underserved U.S. communities.
BroadbandStat will be used to produce the maps by combining street-level maps and demographics information with service provider data collected with the help of Connected Nation, a nonprofit corporation and leader in broadband issues. BroadbandStat can also be used to analyze and identify which unserved or underserved areas have optimum potential for broadband infrastructure development at the household, street, and census block levels. In addition, the application uses ESRI's Web-enabled ArcGIS Server software to make the results available as interactive maps on the Internet. This provides states with a public forum for consumers, service providers, and businesses to explore and comment on the mapped results and input information about their own broadband access at a specific address.
Both Alaska and Kansas have established subsidiaries of Connected Nation (Connect Alaska and Connect Kansas) to carry out the projects. In Alaska, the funds were awarded to the Denali Commission, an independent federal agency that will work with Connect Alaska to map broadband access across the state. The Kansas grant will help the Connect Kansas initiative, established through the Kansas Department of Commerce, to collect data and develop that state's map of existing broadband infrastructure.
"High-speed Internet is crucial to our economy, our ability to serve citizens, and our overall quality of life," Kansas governor Mark Parkinson said. "We look forward to utilizing these Recovery Act funds to advance the Connect Kansas initiative and better serve our rural communities."
Alaska and Kansas have already identified their rural and remote areas as defined in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Those maps and other information are available online at the Connect Alaska Web site (http://connectak.org/mapping) and the Connect Kansas Web site ( www.connectkansas.org).
For more information about ESRI's BroadbandStat application, visit www.esri.com/bbstat.
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