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Strategies to Maximize the Impact of State BTOP Awards

The Business Technology Opportunity Program awards have now been made. Most states have received awards for a combination of Comprehensive Community Infrastructure, Public Computing Center and Sustainable Broadband Initiative grants.

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The Business Technology Opportunity Program awards have now been made. Most states have received awards for a combination of Comprehensive Community Infrastructure (CCI), Public Computing Center (PCC) and Sustainable Broadband Initiative (SBA) grants.

In addition, many lead state agencies received supplemental funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for the continuation of data gathering and mapping, and the coordination of state broadband network development and adoption plans. There are ways in which the various work programs funded by BTOP can be coordinated to achieve maximum local benefits. Let’s explore the possibilities.

First, SBA projects, oriented to the promotion and advancement of local internet education and training for both area and vertical markets, can provide training content for PCCs and for the stimulation of demand by user groups for the broadband connectivity provided by the CCIs.

Second, local broadband networks should be used to support comprehensive and functional community, educational and economic development planning, with vertical market adoption strategies as well as historic TOP programs to maximize the number of subscribers to the CCI networks and the value of the practical broadband applications and services available over the Internet.

Third, an effort should be made by BTOP winners to document and share their experiences so that other groups throughout the state can benefit from the BTOP awards even though they were not funded by BTOP but could be funded in the future by other state and federal programs.

All states have received funding from NTIA for data gathering and mapping and to support other state initiatives and to advance the broadband promotion, deployment and adoption strategies in the state. In addition to the completion of their data-gathering and mapping efforts, states have proposed to use these supplemental NTIA funds to promote broadband and Internet use by: veterans, small businesses, county and city broadband adoption plans, healthcare, education, research, pilot projects and the ongoing administrative support for the development of the state’s broadband plan.

Promote Vertical Markets and User Groups in Area Broadband Markets
While BTOP grants have provided capital for the engineering and construction of broadband networks, the long term sustainability of the networks requires the maximum use of the networks by user groups, including stimulating the demand for network services whether voice, video or data. There are a host of potential users of broadband services in all of the areas served by BTOP networks.

These user groups include anchor institutions like local government, healthcare facilities, K-12 schools, universities and community colleges, government-assisted housing projects and Broadband Internet Service Providers that provide “last mile” connections to the ultimate residential and business consumers.

To maximize the demand for these network services, all of the intermediaries need to explain to their customers through persuasive presentations that a broadband subscription is a sensible and practical investment. The financial benefits of the BTOP grant are finite. The ultimate consumers need to determine that the practical benefits of broadband services are understood and worth paying for. Networks have to develop intermediaries and ultimate consumers in numbers and for amounts sufficient to assure the long-term financial feasibility of the network. The long term success of each network will depend upon the abilities of the networks to create and sustain local cultures of Internet use based on the successful user experience of customers.

As an example, in 2005 Connect Kentucky initiated the development of functional area broadband use by promoting local county-based broadband adoption strategies. Connect Kentucky collected broadband uses by county in nine functional areas: (1) business; (2) K-12; (3) healthcare; (4) libraries; (5) higher education; (6) community-based organizations; (7) government; (8) tourism, recreation and parks; and (9) agriculture.

Connect Kentucky then organized county broadband development teams to gather experiences from their own counties to share with other counties throughout the state so that one successful experience in one county could be adapted to other situations throughout the state.

The newly created Partnership for a Connected Illinois is also using local e-teams to promote broadband in towns, cities, counties and regions. The goal is to maximize broadband use in conceptual spreadsheet “cells,” which reflect the intersection of geographical “columns” and “rows” of users representing vertical markets and applications.

Connecting Broadband Deployment with Regional Comprehensive Planning for Community and Economic Development, Education and Building Human Capital
Historically, urban and regional planners have used the physical infrastructure of sewer, water, roads and transit intersections as supporting foundations for city or county economic development plans. Increasingly, cities and counties are using broadband investments as justification for business recruitment and retention efforts. In large part, this was the justification for the development of municipal broadband networks in the past ten years.

Large businesses require broadband connectivity to compete nationally and internationally in the 21st century economy, typically installed private, proprietary broadband for cost savings and to ensure availability of sufficient capacity. Recently, broadband is increasingly thought to be essential to the cost-effective distribution of government, health care, educational and workforce development services as well. Increasingly, small businesses and start-ups are using the Internet for supply chain management, marketing and sales to grow their businesses and to create local jobs.

Small businesses, both for-profit and nonprofit, need to be online with interactive websites and an understanding of how to use social media marketing to their fullest advantage. PCCs can provide this training, access to hardware and software as well as an understanding of marketing techniques. These PCCs can be located in local libraries, schools or community media centers which also manage local ublic educational and government access channels on cable systems, connectivity that can be used for the cablecasting of outreach and education programs to stimulate broadband adoption.

Community and economic development agencies need to understand the training required by these small and home-based businesses. The training required includes the development of a business strategy and the effective use of websites and social media for marketing and the use of wireless and wireless broadband networks.

Another important contribution would be to coordinate comprehensive broadband network deployment to maximize the contributions of area small businesses to the local economy and jobs. Jobs are not created by governmental mandate or wishful thinking. They are the result of the successful start up, incubation, growth and expansion of businesses competing in an increasingly national and international broadband dominated marketplace.

The TOP program, which was the Department of Commerce/NTIA predecessor grant program to BTOP, funded 650 innovative telecom projects from 1995 to 2005 at an average grant of $750,000. These grants represented venture capital investments in telecom research and development, a substantial and well documented set of applications that should be considered by the local BTOP CCI networks as they develop local economic and community development plans.

All of the extensive TOP project proposals and performance reviews can be accessed at the TOP database at the University of Illinois and managed by Professor Kate Williams. TOP-funded projects in a variety of functional areas from workforce development, to medical and healthcare applications, to government programs, education, entrepreneurship and support for small business. The TOP files represent examples of earlier efforts to use telecom to promote the same type of local community development efforts which were the object of the Connect Kentucky county plans. While the TOP projects were developed prior to the technology and broadband developments of the last five years, they represent innovative, collaborative approaches to the typical community and economic development problems for which broadband networks can provide even more effective solutions.

An Effort Should Be Made to Fully Document the Local BTOP Demonstrations
The BTOP awards represent well thought out project proposals that succeeded in the rigorous national competition. However, the many excellent proposals that failed to receive funding in BTOP Rounds 1 and 2 should be considered for local implementation by local public/private investments by foundations and government programs and private sector investments

Similar to the “unbundled network elements” that were much discussed – but not resolved – in the Illinois Commerce Consideration of the SBC/Ameritech merger in 1998 and 1999, there are many individual initiatives in the implementation of each CCI grant that can be shared with other CCI networks in the state. The experience in complying with Environmental Impact Statements is one example. Others include engineering and construction work, market research, marketing and sales, operations and financial modeling and reporting. The objective would be to “unbundle” proposals to consider their constituent parts that might be of interest and value to others.

The PCC projects can share experiences related to education and training curricula, the effective use of supplemental equipment like Internet-connected white boards, thin clients and cloud computing, initial needs assessments and evaluation procedures and forms. The impact of SBA programs can also be maximized by sharing experiences and results related effectiveness of education training efforts in vertical markets like senior citizens, people with disabilities, skills and job search for low income families, kids not learning at grade level, non-profits and small, start-up businesses

The experiences of SBA programs can be collected from the state and around the country, assessed and disseminated to other parts of the state to vertical markets and user groups with similar interests and needs through the use of online web sites and cable access channels. When completing a successful computer and online training effort, the goal should be to consider how these experiences could be helpful to others.

States Should Facilitate Information Sharing and Replication Efforts
The BTOP Team and the BTOP winners should share with one another through the BTOP databases and website. This process can begin at the two-day workshop for Round 2 BTOP winners in Washington on Nov. 9-10. States should be using a portion of their supplemental NTIA funding to perform similar, but more granular, efforts to collect, analyze and disseminate through websites, webinars and webcasts the BTOP experiences in the individual states. The state recipients of BTOP funds should also promote and support the sharing of information among awardees and other organizations in the state that make up the state broadband network. The goals of the state should be to develop broadband marketing strategies within networks and among vertical markets and user groups that can prepare all segments of local town, city and county economies for success in the international marketplace.

The positioning of local economies for success in the 21st century international marketplace – as well as the short term emphasis on jobs – was one of the two principles that were foremost in the creation of the federal stimulus programs. The goal of BTOP was not simply to fund worthy projects. It was to integrate the use of broadband into the basic fabric of our local communities and economies so that America is best prepared to compete internationally for the rest of the 21st Century.

Don S. Samuelson can be reached at DSSA310@aol.com.

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Expert Opinion

Rahul Sen Sharma: The Metaverse is Not Web 3.0

The Metaverse is at the forefront of developments in seamless payments and richer information flows.

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Rahul Sen Sharma, managing partner at Indxx.

Web 3.0 is a concept for the next generation of internet architecture that envisions a decentralized ecosystem based on blockchain technology. It is an evolution of how users would control, own, and manage their online content, digital assets and identities.

Web 3.0 marks a departure from the centralized mega platforms and corporations that currently dominate the Web 2.0 ecosystem.

The Metaverse is at the forefront of the Web 3.0 internet revolution. It can be defined as a set of interconnected, experience driven 3D virtual worlds where users can socialize in real-time to form a persistent and thriving user-owned internet economy regardless of any physical or geographical constraints.

Both the technologies of Web 3.0 and Metaverse support each other perfectly. Even though the Metaverse is a virtual space whereas Web 3.0 favours a decentralized web, it could form the basis for connectivity in the Metaverse. While the development of the Metaverse is in nascent stages, the exponential growth of non-fungible tokens, P2E (Play to Earn) games and decentralised autonomous organisations have boosted the development of Web 3.0.

A future involving distributed and anonymous users

Web 3.0 envisions a future involving distributed anonymous users and machines interacting without the need for an intermediary, to form a composable human-centric and privacy preserving computing fabric.

These interactions would range from seamless payments and richer information flows, to trusted data transfers via a mechanism of peer-to-peer networks without the need for third parties.

The shift should lead to a wave of new business models that bypass the existing global co-operatives that we currently have, and replace them with decentralised, autonomous organisations and self-sovereign data marketplaces.

As mentioned, Web3 is built on blockchain technology and DAOs rather than the current model of centralized servers owned by large corporations. In the same way, the ideal structure of the Metaverse is also full decentralisation.

The technologies behind achieving decentralization would be distributed ledgers and blockchain technology which enables value-exchange between softwares, self-sovereign identities and the creation of a transparent and secure environment.

The blockchain is central to the Metaverse, and to Web 3.0

In an ideal form, both Web 3.0 and the Metaverse takes advantage of blockchain to give unrestricted, permissionless access to everyone with an internet connection.

Currently, development towards the Metaverse is being spearheaded by big tech corporations such as Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and more, all of which are major players in Web 2.0. The model of centralised Metaverse being built by them involves closed ecosystems that are only designed to extract value at the expense of their most valuable assets – users, content creators and customers.

This contrasts with the envisioned form of Metaverse and Web 3.0 with decentralization, interoperability and seamless interaction between different virtual worlds and the real world.

Still, the big tech corporations are investing resources into their Metaverse development and have their own vision and plans for what the Metaverse would be.

Meanwhile, decentralized Metaverses and Web3 initiatives are currently attracting record investment, pulling in around $30 billion in venture capital last year alone.

As we shift to what will likely be a more decentralized web, the creator economy is also evolving and likely to become a multibillion-dollar industry with immense potential for creators and publishers.

The creator economy in the Metaverse can supplement the vision of web 3.0 for developing a new financial world with decentralized solutions.

In Web 3.0, users can create content while owning, controlling, and monetizing them through the implementation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. However, the model of this creator economy is likely to disrupt the business models of many current big-tech corporations.

Regardless, the Metaverse requires both big tech companies to build the technology and the creator economy to produce interesting content for driving engagement. Partnerships, reduced platform fees and creative commissions by big tech to creators within the metaverse can be a way to stimulate the already fast-growing creator economy.

Rahul Sen Sharma is a managing partner at Indxx and has been instrumental in leading the firm’s growth since 2011. He manages Indxx’s Sales, Client Engagement, Marketing and Branding teams while also helping to set the firm’s overall strategic objectives and vision. Prior to joining Indxx, Rahul was the Director of Investment Research for RR Advisory Group (now part of Mariner Wealth Advisors), a full service private wealth management firm based in New York that caters to high net worth individuals. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to commentary@breakfast.media. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

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Digital Inclusion

W. Antoni Sinkfield: To Succeed in 21st Century, Communities Need to Get Connected Now

One of the primary responsibilities of being a faith leader is to listen to your community and understand its problems.

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Reverend W. Antoni Sinkfield, Associate Dean for Community Life at Wesley Theological Seminary.

One of the primary responsibilities of being a faith leader is to listen to your community, understand its problems, and provide support in challenging times. Particularly during the pandemic, it has been hard not to notice that my parishioners, and folks across the country, are divided into two groups: those with access to the internet, and those without.

In 2022, digital inclusion is still something we strive for in poor and rural areas throughout America. The lack of reliable internet access is an enormous disadvantage to so many people in all facets of their lives.

To fully participate in today’s society, all people, no matter who they are and no matter where they live, must have access to the internet. Think of the remote learning every child had to experience when schools were closed, and the challenges that families faced when they didn’t have access to a quality connection.

It’s a question of plain fairness.

Politicians have been talking for decades about bringing high-speed internet access to everyone, however many families continue to be left behind. More than 42 million people across the country lack affordable, reliable broadband connections, and as many as 120 million people who cannot get online are stuck with slow service that does not allow them to take advantage of everything the internet has to offer.

People of color are disproportionately affected by lack of broadband access

Lack of broadband disproportionately affects communities of color, as well: 35 percent of Americans of Latino descent and 29 percent of African-Americans do not have a broadband connection at home.

Every person in rural towns, urban neighborhoods, and tribal communities needs and deserves equal and full economic and educational opportunities. Studies show that students without home access to the internet are less likely to attend college and face a digital skills gap equivalent to three years’ worth of schooling. Small businesses, which are the cornerstone of rural and urban communities alike, need broadband to reach their customers and provide the service they expect.

Simply put, having access to the internet in every community is vital to its ability to succeed in the 21st century.

Fortunately, we have an opportunity to take major steps toward a solution. Last year, Congress passed President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides $65 billion to expand broadband access and affordability. It is essential that we use this money to connect as many unserved and underserved communities as we can – and as quickly as we can.

Different places need different options to bridge the digital divide

As we bridge the digital divide, we must listen to those who have been left behind and make sure that we deploy solutions that fit their needs. Different places need different options – so it’s important that all voices are heard, and the technology that works best for the community is made readily available.

All people need access to broadband to learn, work, shop, pay bills, and get efficient healthcare.

When I talk to my parishioners, they speak about how much of their lives have transitioned online and are frustrated about not having reliable access. They do not care about the nuances of how we bring broadband to everyone. They just want to have it now – and understandably so.

This means that we must explore all solutions possible to provide high-speed broadband with the connection and support they need, when they need it, regardless of where they live.

Now is the time to meet those struggling where they are, stop dreaming about bridging the divide, and just get it done. Our government has a rare opportunity to fix an enormous problem, using money already approved for the purpose. Let’s make sure they do so in a manner that works for the communities they’re trying to help.

Rev. W. Antoni Sinkfield, Ph.D., serves as Associate Dean for Community Life at Wesley Theological Seminary, and is an ordained Itinerate Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to commentary@breakfast.media. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

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Broadband Mapping & Data

Bryan Darr: Federal Broadband Funding is Available for Local Governments

Ookla can help your community get the funding you need to provide access for all to the digital economy.

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Bryan Darr, vice president of Smart Communities at Ookla.

Local governments, the clock is ticking.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act set billions of dollars out on the infrastructure buffet table for local governments in the United States and there are more guests invited to the party than ever before.

This funding is almost certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect your community and provide access for all to the digital economy. The question is: will you be at the front or the back of the line?

Ookla can help you. This article is designed to give you the information you need to get started on the path toward getting the funding you need for your communities.

Look to your state for funding

Historically, broadband funding has had a very top-down approach.

The Federal Communications Commission has held almost all the power to determine where federal broadband infrastructure dollars have been spent. But for the first time, state governments will have an active role in guiding these decisions.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act directs $65 billion to improving broadband connectivity across the U.S., with $42.45 billion earmarked for building new infrastructure.

Once the initial FCC map has been released, each state that has declared their intent to participate through National Telecommunications and Information Administration will be provided a minimum $100 million to get the process started (U.S. territories will split an additional $100 million).

Much of the remaining $22 billion will target affordability, but more on that later.

The race for resources will be officially off and running.

Following this initial disbursement, there will be roughly $37 billion more to be awarded from the IIJA alone.

Many states are still sitting on billions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Acts and broadband is an allowable expenditure for these remaining stimulus dollars.

Add to that the long running connectivity programs such as Connect America Fund, Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, Mobility Fund and the upcoming Rural 5G Fund, and all those programs combined approach $100 billion over the next decade.

Plan ahead to increase your competitiveness

Past programs have provided funding without setting proper expectations on results. More emphasis is now being placed on planning.

With a focus on estimated cost per service address, network design takes a front seat to ensure these resources are spent efficiently and state officials will be allowed to use up to five percent of this for mapping, designing, and cost estimation.

Most states are already planning, or already building, their own broadband availability maps. But if you have connectivity issues in your community, it’s time to make it known to those who will be responsible for directing funds and deciding which communities will see investment and which will not.

Ookla helped Loudoun County, Virginia secure $17 million

We have experience helping local governments navigate this challenging planning process.

When FCC Form 477 broadband availability data showed that nearly 100% of Loudoun residents have access to what the FCC defines as broadband (25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download, 3 Mbps upload), this was inconsistent with the connectivity experiences of county residents.

So the Loudoun Broadband Alliance chose to use Ookla Speedtest Intelligence® to create an accurate and reliable broadband access mapping methodology using real-world network performance data.

With this data, LBA identified a large number of unserved households in contrast to FCC data which showed them as served. Loudoun County was subsequently awarded over $17 million of funding to help eliminate the broadband gap.

Keep in mind that the maps will never be finished. They will change and evolve as the networks in your area grow.

Funded projects will need to be monitored for compliance and older networks will need to be watched for signs of deterioration. Everyone will need to keep an eye on progress, measure successes, and have the data to act early when projects go off track.

Acadiana, Louisiana used Speedtest data to win $30 million

With Speedtest data, the Acadiana Planning Commission was able to successfully challenge FCC maps on over 900 out of approximately 1,000 census blocks.

The APC applied for funding through the NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program, which made $288 million in funding available to help close the digital divide in the U.S.. There were over 230 applicants, and only 13 grants were awarded.

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Acadiana in March to announce that the APC had been awarded a $30 million grant that will fund high-speed internet in 11 rural Acadiana communities.

Think big! Broadband funding is available for more than just infrastructure

Accessibility to broadband requires at least four components: infrastructure, affordability, equipment, and knowledge. The lack of any one of these means an individual does not have access to today’s digital economy.

Much of the focus has been on the lack of infrastructure in many rural communities, but infrastructure is the absolutely essential piece for anyone in any community to get connected.

The second component, affordability, often drives the last two requirements as people who cannot afford internet service often cannot afford the necessary equipment and, therefore, are less likely to have developed the knowledge to use it.

Tracking both of these two primary elements is key to understanding the digital divide.

You might qualify for funding in more than one of these four areas. For example, over $14 billion in a new Affordable Connectivity Program is included in the broadband portion of the IIJA.

Remaining funds include $2.75 billion for the Digital Equity Grant Program and the $2 billion Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, as well as two more programs that will assist the USDA improve the internet in agricultural communities.

Agencies and local governments should work together

Cities should be coordinating with counties and other government entities within the same region — but someone needs to be in charge.

If your local government does not have an individual charged with coordinating all these efforts, there is bound to be duplication of efforts, wasted resources, stagnation of ideas, or all of the above.

Whether this person reports directly to the chief technology officer, chief information officer, mayor, or city manager, their purpose is to understand what all departments are doing in the space and coordinate discussions, grant opportunities, and overlapping initiatives to make sure that departments aren’t working at cross purposes.

Non-profits, community activists, and local corporations all have a stake in the success of these efforts.

Traffic problems won’t suddenly end at the municipal boundary. Improving traffic on one side of the line may create more problems on the other side. Working together with your neighbors is just as important as working with internal departments. The same can be said of both fixed and wireless broadband infrastructure.

Dig-once projects will score extra points in the competition to have projects selected.

Broadband is only part of the $1.2 billion infrastructure law. Roads, bridges, ports, and rail have billions of dedicated dollars as well.

Digging a new trench for a clean water system? Coordinate with the project to include conduit and fiber and your efficient use of taxpayer funds will likely be rewarded.

Consider funding for multiple technologies

As great as it might be to provide every service address in the country with a fiber connection, it may not make economic sense in some places.

But an important detail was clearly stated in the legislation that recognizes a technology neutral stance on solutions.

The rules are not yet complete on how the FCC and NTIA will award the IIJA funds and contend with challenges to their findings, but there are certainly far fewer restrictions on the ARPA funds that are already disbursed to the states. Many connectivity projects are already underway whether through infrastructure development, equipment distribution, or subsidies for affordable service.

Wireless services can get people connected much faster and there are several forms.

Traditional mobile operators are rolling out 5G and Fixed Wireless Access in some areas that can directly compete with traditional fixed services. Wireless internet service providers have launched coverage to homes and businesses that previously had satellite as their only option.

Some municipalities and school systems have launched private 4G LTE networks to connect underserved areas in their communities. And municipal Wi-Fi can still be an important part of an overall solution.

A portion of families may never find subscribing to a fixed network practical, but wireless services allow for easier movement and some don’t even require a residence. Understanding wireless network availability and performance across your jurisdiction is just as important as planning a fiber network.

And here’s a bonus — cellular and other transmission sites need fiber for any new 5G cell site. So if you know where your wireless networks need additional infrastructure, you can plan for places in the network to offer them accessible fiber connections.

If your state still has ARPA funds available, you still have an opportunity to make improvements and learn more about connectivity issues so you are better able to make your case for the IIJA funds as they begin to flow.

Ookla can provide you with the data you need to be competitive for federal funding

It has been said for years that broadband is the fourth utility.

Local governments have spent a lot of their resources managing the first three: water, gas, and electricity.

If any of those become unavailable, even for a brief period of time, their citizens will make their unhappiness known. Resiliency of these services will play a part in how elected officials are judged, whether the local government supplies these services or just manages an external provider.

If you serve in local government, you should anticipate the same expectations going forward for broadband in your community.

The internet has become vital to the way we live our lives, and access to it dictates much of our success both as residents and businesses. Recognizing connectivity as a critical service may have been a consequence of a pandemic, but that change in thinking is here to stay.

That’s why Ookla is here to help you learn more about the connectivity in your area.

We’ve already helped local governments secure tens of millions of dollars in federal funding in Loudoun County, Virginia and Acadiana, Louisiana. We are also working with state broadband offices as well as municipalities to help them gain visibility into network availability and performance.

If you want your community to take advantage of the billions pouring into improving connectivity, get in line before it’s too late.

Drawn from billions of Speedtest results, Ookla’s Broadband Performance Dataset provides governments, regulators, ISPs, and mobile operators with insights about the state of fixed networks and broadband accessibility. The Broadband Performance Dataset helps you identify unserved and underserved areas, prioritize investment opportunities to improve access to broadband, challenge funding decisions, and secure grants.

To learn more about the Broadband Performance Dataset, Speedtest Intelligence, and other solutions for your state and/or local governments, please contact us.

Bryan Darr is the Vice President of Smart Communities at Ookla. He coordinates Ookla’s outreach to local, state and federal governments and serves on CTIA’s Smart Cities Business & Technology Working Group. This piece was first published on Ookla’s web site, and is reprinted with permission.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to commentary@breakfast.media. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

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