Rhode Island Releases Broadband Map

The state was awarded $108.7 million through BEAD funds.

Rhode Island Releases Broadband Map
Photo of Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee, May 22

May 31, 2024 – Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s ConnectRI program announced on Wednesday the launch of the state’s first broadband map, which delineates where residents of the state have access to high-speed internet services.

“I encourage all Rhode Islanders to provide feedback on our broadband map,” said Gov. Dan McKee. “Only then will we be able to serve the unserved and properly serve the underserved which is paramount to our education and economic successes.”

The map will allow Internet Service Providers, municipalities, residents, and businesses to view and challenge service claims, a required process as part of the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program. 

Rhode Island was awarded $108.7 million to provide broadband to every unserved and underserved address in the state. About 12 percent of households are not connected to the internet in the state, and another 8 percent only have access via a smartphone data plan, according to a 2021 report.

“Our ConnectRI team has been hard at work to ensure this federal funding is deployed efficiently and equitably.” said Rhode Island’s Director of Broadband Strategy Brian Thorn. “We are one step closer to finalizing an accurate, well-informed map that will help us make the right investments in infrastructure and improved services across Rhode Island.”

Challenges are open until June 28. At least 13 states expect that BEAD allocations will be sufficient to connect all unserved and underserved addresses in their jurisdiction. Of those, many have specified nondeployment plans, which include the projects that excess BEAD funds will sponsor. These projects can include technology education, workforce reskilling, affordability programs and promoting broadband adoption.

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