Alaska and Kansas to Map High-Speed Internet Coverage

Web application supported by ESRI technology and Connected Nation

REDLANDS, Calif., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ --

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.

About ESRI

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com/news.

ESRI, the ESRI globe logo, GIS by ESRI, ArcGIS, www.esri.com, and @esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of ESRI in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.


    Press Information
    Contact: Jessica Wyland, ESRI
    Tel.: 909-793-2853, extension 1-3345
    E-mail: press@esri.com

Web site: http://www.esri.com/




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