Bruce P. Mehlman
The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.
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According to Gary Evenson, administrator of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) telecommunications division, the [Wisconsin] PSC estimates there is broadband access in more than 80% of the state, and finding that last 15% to 20% that doesn’t have it “is a challenge.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has awarded $1.9 million for broadband mapping and planning to Alabama. $1.4 million, will be used for mapping and data collection. The rest will be used for planning during a two-year period.
The [Wisconsin] Public Service Commission will receive a $1.7 million grant to create a map of Wisconsin’s broadband Internet services and to plan more.
The federal government actually has set aside $350 million for mapping out national broadband coverage. However, this mapping isn’t expected to be complete until 2011 – long after the broadband funds will have been spent.
The $787 billion stimulus bill championed by the Obama administration set aside up to $350 million to create a national broadband map that could guide policies aimed at expanding high-speed Internet access.
The federal government actually has set aside $350 million for mapping out national broadband coverage.
However, this mapping isn’t expected to be complete until 2011 – long after the broadband funds will have been spent.
Jim Stegeman, president of broadband mapping firm CostQuest Associates said it takes about 5-6 months to create an initial statewide map, but that the speed of a mapping project depends on how quickly carriers turn over relevant information, and in what format.