Washington, DC (Vocus) February 12, 2010
Yesterday, Connected Nation launched its new interactive broadband mapping platform in its state-based initiative of Tennessee.
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.
Connected Nation joined forces with ESRI, a market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, to create the revolutionary software.
“This is more than a facelift. We have taken the feedback of thousands of Connected Nation map users to completely revamp the way we map broadband. BroadbandStat combines the supply and demand side of broadband data and presents it in a way that is accessible to the most casual observer,” said Brian R. Mefford, Connected Nation’s chief executive officer. “The ways in which policymakers and potential investors can utilize this tool are virtually limitless.”
Along with Tennessee, BroadbandStat will soon be available in 11 more states and the territory of Puerto Rico. These states and territory will be using BroadbandStat to organize the results of data they are currently collecting on available broadband services. This activity is supported by State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program funds that are made available through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for improving broadband accessibility across the nation.
BroadbandStat uses GIS technology to enable a user to build and evaluate broadband expansion scenarios that incorporate data such as education and population demographics, current broadband speeds, and availability and research about adoption barriers. Results are displayed on a Web-based interactive map. The broadband-related data can be used for grant writing, broadband investment, and economic development, and it gives the public the ability to find information about broadband providers down to the street level.
For Bob Mayfield, managing partner of Electronic Communications Systems, a small broadband provider in west Tennessee, the new tool will be extremely helpful as his company plans further coverage.
“BroadbandStat is a very important tool,” Mayfield said. “For providers to be able to look at the market as we are developing our business plans — to see where broadband exists and where the demand is — this is the best thing that’s come out in a while.”
Daryl Phillips, executive director of the Hickman County Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), agreed.
“Five years ago, we had local business owners that couldn't decide where to locate within the county because they didn't have access to this kind of detailed information,” Phillips said. “Now, business and industry can use this tool for relocation decisions, home buyers can use this while shopping for a home, and government and ECD can use it for planning purposes."
BroadbandStat was showcased at the 13th Annual Kickoff Technology Policy Exhibition at the 6th Annual State of the Net conference in Washington, D.C. on January 26 and 27.
Former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, director of Policy and Public Sector Strategies at ESRI, attended the conference and had a chance to discuss the benefits of proper broadband data and analysis tools.
"The common underpinning of all activities — economic, social, or health — is people connecting with other people and that activity doesn't happen without broadband," he said at the kickoff reception. "You will never understand how much information is in the world until you can connect with broadband. Broadband mapping —or showing who is connecting and who is not — is just the first step."
To see Connected Tennessee’s interactive map visit the Connected Tennessee website.
About Connected Nation: Connected Nation is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that expands access to and use of broadband Internet and the related technologies that are enabled when individuals and communities have the opportunity and desire to connect. Connected Nation effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and related technologies by developing coalitions of influencers and enablers for improving technology availability and use. Connected Nation works with consumers, community leaders, states, technology providers and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered around a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. http://www.connectednation.org.
About Connected Tennessee: As a public-private partnership, Connected Tennessee partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities and universities to accelerate technology in the state. The work of Connected Tennessee is made possible by support from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. For more information about what Connected Tennessee is doing to accelerate technology in Tennessee’s communities, visit http://www.connectedtennessee.org.
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