WASHINGTON, November 9, 2009 – On Friday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced seven new state recipients of the state broadband data and development grant program. These grants fund state efforts to map broadband availability and speeds. Each state was asked to pick a designated entity – either a state body or a non-profit organization – that would develop a plan for how broadband mapping would be conducted.
Of the seven states awarded grants on Friday, two choose to fully internalize their process and have state agencies control the mapping.
In Alabama, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs was tasked; they received $1.4 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities and $463,000 for broadband planning activities both for over a two- year period.
In Washington State, the Department of Information Services received $1.7 million for data collection and mapping and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities both for over a two-year period.
Wyoming and Idaho, by contrast, choose to contract their mapping to the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, a Seattle based non-profit. Wyoming received $1.3 million for data collection and mapping over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a three-year period. Idaho also received $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period. It received only $492,000 for broadband planning activities over a three-year period.
The other three states to receive awards on Friday were Maryland, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. Each of these states designated state-related but independent organizations.
The Maryland Broadband Cooperative Inc. received $1.5 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $480,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period. The Massachusetts Broadband Institute received $1.5 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin obtained $1.2 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and approximately $485,000 for broadband planning activities over a three-year period.
The first eight grants were announced last month and with these new the total has risen to 15 but there are still 41 grants left. States previously awarded funds include: Arkansas, California, the District of Columbia, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia
Of the 15 states awarded state broadband data broadband mapping grants thus far, none have been affiliated with Connected Nation, a national non-profit organizations selected as the designated entity by at least nine states in their August broadband applications.
BroadbandCensus.com was launched in January 2008, and uses “crowdsourcing” to collect the Broadband SPARC: Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. The news on BroadbandCensus.com is produced by Broadband Census News LLC, a subsidiary of Broadband Census LLC that was created in July 2009.
A recent split of operations helps to clarify the mission of BroadbandCensus.com. Broadband Census Data LLC offers commercial broadband verification services to cities, states, carriers and broadband users. Created in July 2009, Broadband Census Data LLC produced a joint application in the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program with Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Program. In August 2009, BroadbandCensus.com released a beta map of Columbia, South Carolina, in partnership with Benedict-Allen Community Development Corporation.
Broadband Census News LLC offers daily and weekly reporting, as well as the Broadband Breakfast Club. The Broadband Breakfast Club has been inviting top experts and policy-makers to share breakfast and perspectives on broadband technology and internet policy since October 2008. Both Broadband Census News LLC and Broadband Census Data LLC are subsidiaries of Broadband Census LLC, and are organized in the Commonwealth of Virginia. About BroadbandCensus.com.