State of Connecticut State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program
In response to the Notice of Funds Availability published in the Federal Register on July 8, 2009 (NOFA), the State of Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) submitted a grant application for consideration under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program (SBDD), for both the broadband mapping and planning functions. The CT PURA, pursuant to Executive Order 32-A, has been designated as the single Connecticut state entity eligible to apply for funds under this program. On January 14, 2010, the NTIA awarded the State $1,833,769 in federal share, matched by $458,442 recipient cost, for a total grant expenditure estimate of $2,292,211.
The State has long been committed to regarding broadband delivery and enhanced use as a fundamental goal. The State has developed a planning strategy to marshal the State’s resources and stakeholders and establish Connecticut as a leader in broadband usage, in addition to being a leader in
“e-Government” and other broadband-dependent endeavors. The State has assembled an advisory team composed of representatives from a variety of state agencies with expertise in mapping, geospatial information, telecommunications, and broadband.
The State entered its SBDD initiative not possessing any data related to broadband service, availability, or infrastructure that can readily support the requirements of the Broadband Data and Development grant program. The acquisition of a master data file is a critical piece for the State to be able to comply with the requirements set forth by the NTIA. For census blocks less than two square miles, the initiative will collect data at the census block level. For census blocks greater than two square miles the initiative will collect information at the street segment/address level.
PURA expects to collect related geographic and technical provider information in order to piece together critical data pieces. The initiative will pursue information regarding the technology of broadband transmission (e.g., DSL, copper wire, cable modem, fiber, satellite, wireless, other) and advertised and typical broadband upstream and downstream speeds. A consultant retained by the State will is performing the bulk of the data collection and analysis. The culmination of the State’s SBDD efforts has resulted in an internet based mapping site frequently revised with new data.
The PURA’s mapping team requests specific data noticed by the NTIA and processes any data relevant to the goals of the Broadband Data Improvement Act and the SBDD. Since well over 80% of the parcels in the state exist in a digital format the most efficient way to accomplish is to collect and standardize all digital parcels in the state into a consistent model and complete the development of a statewide parcel layer for the remaining parcels.
The data collected by the State will be updated in a variety of ways and depends on the input and cooperation from broadband providers, municipalities, and community anchor institutions (libraries, government agencies, hospitals, emergency response offices). The State’s principal geo-data development consultant, Applied Geographics, Inc., is working closely with the PURA, the Department of Information Technology, other state agencies, municipalities, and community anchor institutions to meet the data collection standards and reporting requirements of the NTIA and the award.
On September 28, 2010, the NTIA awarded the State an additional $1,949,169 in federal share, matched by $565,004 in state costs, for a total grant expenditure estimate of $2,514,173. Both awards combined total $3,782,938 in federal share, matched by $1,023,454 in state costs for total grant expenditure estimate of $4,806,392.