broadband: About Us

About Us

 
Department of Commerce 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
 
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) with $7.2 billion to expand access to broadband services in the United States. Of those funds, the Act provided $4.7 billion to NTIA to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service, and develop and maintain a nationwide public map of broadband service capability and availability.  
 
State Broadband Initiative (SBI)

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (fka Department of Public Utility Control) received an SBI grant in 2010 of about $ 4 million managed by the state Broadband Policy Coordinator through the Office of Consumer Counsel.  This grant has funded the development of Guidelines for expanding access to and adoption of broadband services across the state, a state website devoted to broadband services (www.ct.gov/broadband), and data collection from all the Internet service providers operating in the state, used to generate availability GIS maps on the website.  These maps also provide graphic representations of the broadband availability changes that have occurred in the state since 2010. That data has also been used by NTIA  http://www2.ntia.doc.gov/BTOPmap/

and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)  http://www.fcc.gov/ 

to generate the National Broadband Map  http://www.broadbandmap.gov/ .

Launched in 2009, NTIA’s State Broadband Initiative (SBI) implements the joint purposes of the Recovery Act and the Broadband Data Improvement Act, which envisioned a comprehensive program, led by state entities or non-profit organizations working at their direction, to facilitate the integration of broadband and information technology into state and local economies. Economic development, energy efficiency, and advances in education and health care rely not only on broadband infrastructure, but also on the knowledge and tools to leverage that infrastructure.

Since the program’s inception, NTIA has awarded a total of $293 million to 56 grantees, one each from the 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia, or their designees. Grantees will use this funding to support the efficient and creative use of broadband technology to better compete in the digital economy. These state-created efforts vary depending on local needs but include programs to assist small businesses and community institutions in using technology more effectively, research to investigate barriers to broadband adoption, innovative applications that increase access to government services and information, and state and local task forces to expand broadband access and adoption.

Since accurate data is critical for broadband planning, another purpose of the SBI program is to assist states in gathering data twice a year on the availability, speed, and location of broadband services, as well as the broadband services that community institutions, such as schools, libraries and hospitals, use. This data is used by NTIA to update the National Broadband Map, the first public, searchable nationwide map of broadband availability launched February 17, 2011.

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Broadband Data & Development $3,782,938
Connecticut

Project Components

State Broadband Capacity Building:

The project will create and staff a state broadband technology office responsible for fostering relationships with state and local agencies, and organizing teams of agencies, businesses and other organizations that will work cooperatively to plan and identify funding for programs that accelerate broadband adoption, digital literacy, and computer ownership.

Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:

This project was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.